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Number of Authors: 13
2016 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 819, no 1, 81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To date, no direct detection of Lyman continuum emission has been measured for intermediate-redshift (z similar to 1) star-forming galaxies. We combine Hubble Space Telescope grism spectroscopy with GALEX UV and ground-based optical imaging to extend the search for escaping Lyman continuum to a large (similar to 600) sample of z similar to 1 low-mass (log((M) over bar) similar or equal to 9.3M(circle dot)), moderately star-forming ((Psi) over bar less than or similar to 10M(circle dot) yr(-1)) galaxies selected initially on H alpha emission. The characteristic escape fraction of LyC from star-forming galaxies (SFGs) that populate this parameter space remains weakly constrained by previous surveys, but these faint (sub-L-star) SFGs are assumed to play a significant role in the reionization of neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at high redshift z > 6. We do not make an unambiguous detection of escaping LyC radiation from this z similar to 1 sample, individual non-detections to constrain the absolute Lyman continuum escape fraction, f(esc) < 2.1% (3 sigma). We measure an upper limit of f(esc) < 9.6% from a sample of SFGs selected on high H alpha equivalent width (EW > 200 angstrom), which are thought to be close analogs of high redshift sources of reionization. For reference, we also present an emissivity-weighted escape fraction that is useful for measuring the general contribution SFGs to the ionizing UV background. In the discussion, we consider the implications of these intermediate redshift constraints for the reionization of hydrogen in the IGM at high (z > 6) redshift. If we assume our z similar to 1 SFGs, for which we measure this emissivity-weighted f(esc), are analogs to the high redshift sources of reionization, we find it is difficult to reconcile reionization by faint (MUV less than or similar to -13) SFGs with a low escape fraction (f(esc) < 3%), with constraints from independent high redshift observations. If f(esc) evolves with redshift, reionization by SFGs may be consistent with observations from Planck.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 819, no 1, 81
Keyword [en]
galaxies: dwarf, galaxies: starburst, galaxies: star formation, ultraviolet: galaxies
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129628DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/819/1/81ISI: 000372303400081OAI: diva2:925033
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-26 Last updated: 2016-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Hayes, Matthew
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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