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Can galactic outflows explain the properties of Ly α emitters?

Orsi, A. and Lacey, C.G. and Baugh, C.M. (2012) 'Can galactic outflows explain the properties of Ly α emitters?', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 425 (1). pp. 87-115.


We study the properties of Graphic emitters in a cosmological framework by computing the escape of Graphic photons through galactic outflows. We combine the GALFORM semi-analytical model of galaxy formation with a Monte Carlo Graphic radiative transfer code. The properties of Graphic emitters at 0 < z < 7 are predicted using two outflow geometries: a shell of neutral gas and a wind ejecting material, both expanding at constant velocity. We characterize the differences in the Graphic line profiles predicted by the two outflow geometries in terms of their width, asymmetry and shift from the line centre for a set of outflows with different hydrogen column densities, expansion velocities and metallicities. In general, the Graphic line profile of the Shell geometry is broader and more asymmetric, and the Graphic escape fraction is lower than with the Wind geometry for the same set of parameters. In order to implement the outflow geometries in the semi-analytical model GALFORM, a number of free parameters in the outflow model are set by matching the luminosity function of Graphic emitters over the whole observed redshift range. The resulting neutral hydrogen column densities of the outflows for observed Graphic emitters are predicted to be in the range ∼1018–1023 cm−2. The models are consistent with the observationally inferred Graphic escape fractions, and with the shape of the Graphic line from composite spectra. Interestingly, our predicted UV luminosity function of Graphic emitters and the fraction of Graphic emitters in Lyman-break galaxy samples at high redshift are in partial agreement with observations. We predict that Graphic emitters constitute a subset of the galaxy population with lower metallicities, lower instantaneous star formation rates and larger sizes than the overall population at the same UV luminosity.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Radiative transfer, Methods: numerical, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: high-redshift, Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics.
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:20 August 2014
Date of first online publication:September 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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