CONSTRAINING THE Ly alpha ESCAPE FRACTION WITH FAR- INFRARED OBSERVATIONS OF Ly alpha EMITTERS

R. J. Ivison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We study the far-infrared properties of 498 Ly alpha emitters (LAEs) at z = 2.8, 3.1, and 4.5 in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South, using 250, 350, and 500 mu m data from the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey and 870 mu m data from the LABOCA ECDFS Submillimeter Survey. None of the 126, 280, or 92 LAEs at z = 2.8, 3.1, and 4.5, respectively, are individually detected in the far-infrared data. We use stacking to probe the average emission to deeper flux limits, reaching 1 sigma depths of similar to 0.1 to 0.4 mJy. The LAEs are also undetected at >= 3 sigma in the stacks, although a 2.5 sigma signal is observed at 870 mu m for the z = 2.8 sources. We consider a wide range of far-infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs), including an M82 and an Sd galaxy template, to determine upper limits on the far-infrared luminosities and far-infrared-derived star formation rates of the LAEs. These star formation rates are then combined with those inferred from the Ly alpha and UV emission to determine lower limits on the LAEs' Lya escape fraction (f(esc)(Ly alpha)). For the Sd SED template, the inferred LAEs fesc(Ly alpha) are greater than or similar to 30% (1 sigma) at z = 2.8, 3.1, and 4.5, which are all significantly higher than the global fesc(Ly alpha) at these redshifts. Thus, if the LAEs fesc(Ly alpha) follows the global evolution, then they have warmer far-infrared SEDs than the Sd galaxy template. The average and M82 SEDs produce lower limits on the LAE fesc(Ly alpha) of similar to 1020% (1 sigma), all of which are slightly higher than the global evolution of fesc(Ly alpha), but consistent with it at the 2 sigma-3 sigma level.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume787
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014

Keywords

  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: star formation
  • submillimeter: general

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