THE SPECTRAL EVOLUTION OF THE FIRST GALAXIES. II. SPECTRAL SIGNATURES OF LYMAN CONTINUUM LEAKAGE FROM GALAXIES IN THE REIONIZATION EPOCH
2013 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 777, no 1, 39- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The fraction of ionizing photons that escape (f(esc)) from z greater than or similar to 6 galaxies is an important parameter for assessing the role of these objects in the reionization of the universe, but the opacity of the intergalactic medium precludes a direct measurement of f(esc) for individual galaxies at these epochs. We argue that since f(esc) regulates the impact of nebular emission on the spectra of galaxies, it should nonetheless be possible to indirectly probe f(esc) well into the reionization epoch. As a first step, we demonstrate that by combining measurements of the rest-frame UV slope beta with the equivalent width of the H beta emission line, galaxies with very high Lyman continuum escape fractions (f(esc) >= 0.5) should be identifiable up to z approximate to 9 through spectroscopy with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). By targeting strongly lensed galaxies behind low-redshift galaxy clusters, JWST spectra of sufficiently good quality can be obtained for M-1500 less than or similar to -16.0 galaxies at z approximate to 7 and for M-1500 less than or similar to -17.5 galaxies at z approximate to 9. Dust-obscured star formation may complicate the analysis, but supporting observations with ALMA or the planned SPICA mission may provide useful constraints on this effect.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 777, no 1, 39- p.
dark ages, reionization, first stars, galaxies: high-redshift, techniques: spectroscopic
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96869DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/39ISI: 000326147300039OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-96869DiVA: diva2:668278
FunderSwedish Research Council
Swedish National Space Board; Swedish Research Council; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan KAKENHI: 23684010 2013-11-292013-11-282013-11-29Bibliographically approved