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Neutral gas and the escape of ionizing radiation: Lessons from the low-redshift Green Peas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2020

Anne Jaskot
Affiliation:
Astronomy Department, Williams College, Williamstown, MA01267, USA email: 08aej@williams.edu Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA01003, USA
Jed McKinney
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA01003, USA
Tara Dowd
Affiliation:
The Chandra X-ray Center, Cambridge, MA02138, USA
Sally Oey
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI48109, USA
Min Yun
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA01003, USA
Claudia Scarlata
Affiliation:
Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN55455, USA
James Lowenthal
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, Smith College, Northampton, MA01063, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

How galaxies reionized the universe remains an open question, but we can gain insights from the low-redshift Green Pea galaxies, one of the only known populations of Lyman continuum (LyC) emitters. Using VLA H i 21 cm observations and HST UV spectra of Green Peas, we investigate how neutral gas content and geometry influence LyC and Lyα escape. Our results suggest that LyC Emitters may have high ratios of star formation rate to H i mass. Low gas covering fractions are common among the population, but not all sightlines are optically thin. Based on the observed relationship between high ionization parameters, low metallicities, and narrow Lyα profiles, we propose that weak stellar feedback at low metallicities results in a gas geometry of dense clumps within a low-density medium, which facilitates Lyα and LyC escape. We address the implications of these results for identifying LyC emitters at high redshift with JWST and ALMA.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
© International Astronomical Union 2020

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