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Title:
Slicing COSMOS with SC4K: the evolution of typical Ly alpha emitters and the Ly alpha escape fraction from z ˜ 2 to 6
Authors:
Sobral, David; Santos, Sérgio; Matthee, Jorryt; Paulino-Afonso, Ana; Ribeiro, Bruno; Calhau, João; Khostovan, Ali A.
Affiliation:
AA(Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK; Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands 0000-0001-8823-4845), AB(Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK), AC(Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands), AD(Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK; Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade de Lisboa, OAL, Tapada da Ajuda, P-1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal; Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício C8, Campo Grande, P-1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal 0000-0002-0943-0694), AE(Centro de Computação Gráfica, CVIG, Campus de Azurém, P-4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal), AF(Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK), AG(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521, USA)
Publication:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 476, Issue 4, p.4725-4752 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
06/2018
Origin:
OUP
Astronomy Keywords:
galaxies: evolution, galaxies: formation, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: luminosity function, mass function, galaxies: statistics
Abstract Copyright:
2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI:
10.1093/mnras/sty378
Bibliographic Code:
2018MNRAS.476.4725S

Abstract

We present and explore deep narrow- and medium-band data obtained with the Subaru and the Isaac Newton Telescopes in the ˜2 deg2 COSMOS field. We use these data as an extremely wide, low-resolution (R ˜ 20-80) Integral Field Unit survey to slice through the COSMOS field and obtain a large sample of ˜4000 Ly alpha emitters (LAEs) from z ˜ 2 to 6 in 16 redshift slices (SC4K). We present new Ly alpha luminosity functions (LFs) covering a comoving volume of ˜108 Mpc3. SC4K extensively complements ultradeep surveys, jointly covering over 4 dex in Ly alpha luminosity and revealing a global (2.5 < z < 6) synergy LF with alpha =-1.93^{+0.12}_{-0.12}, log _{10}Phi ^*_{Lyalpha }={-3.45^{+0.22}_{-0.29}} Mpc-3, and log _{10}L^*_{Lyalpha }={42.93^{+0.15}_{-0.11}} erg s-1. The Schechter component of the Ly alpha LF reveals a factor ˜5 rise in L^*_Lyalpha and a ˜7 × decline in Phi ^*_{Lyalpha } from z ˜ 2 to 6. The data reveal an extra power-law (or Schechter) component above LLy alpha ≈ 1043.3 erg s-1 at z ˜ 2.2-3.5 and we show that it is partially driven by X-ray and radio active galactic nucleus (AGN), as their Ly alpha LF resembles the excess. The power-law component vanishes and/or is below our detection limits above z > 3.5, likely linked with the evolution of the AGN population. The Ly alpha luminosity density rises by a factor ˜2 from z ˜ 2 to 3 but is then found to be roughly constant (1.1^{+0.2}_{-0.2}× 10^{40} erg s-1 Mpc-3) to z ˜ 6, despite the ˜0.7 dex drop in ultraviolet (UV) luminosity density. The Ly alpha/UV luminosity density ratio rises from 4 ± 1 per cent to 30 ± 6 per cent from z ˜ 2.2 to 6. Our results imply a rise of a factor of ≈2 in the global ionization efficiency (xiion) and a factor ≈4 ± 1 in the Ly alpha escape fraction from z ˜ 2 to 6, hinting for evolution in both the typical burstiness/stellar populations and even more so in the typical interstellar medium conditions allowing Ly alpha photons to escape.
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