A young star-forming galaxy at z = 3.5 with an extended Ly\,$α$ halo seen with MUSE [GA]


Spatially resolved studies of high redshift galaxies, an essential insight into galaxy formation processes, have been mostly limited to stacking or unusually bright objects. We present here the study of a typical (L$^{*}$, M$_\star$ = 6 $\times 10^9$ $M_\odot$) young lensed galaxy at $z=3.5$, observed with MUSE, for which we obtain 2D resolved spatial information of Ly$\alpha$ and, for the first time, of CIII] emission. The exceptional signal-to-noise of the data reveals UV emission and absorption lines rarely seen at these redshifts, allowing us to derive important physical properties (T$_e\sim$15600 K, n$_e\sim$300 cm$^{-3}$, covering fraction f$_c\sim0.4$) using multiple diagnostics. Inferred stellar and gas-phase metallicities point towards a low metallicity object (Z$_{\mathrm{stellar}}$ = $\sim$ 0.07 Z$_\odot$ and Z$_{\mathrm{ISM}}$ $<$ 0.16 Z$_\odot$). The Ly$\alpha$ emission extends over $\sim$10 kpc across the galaxy and presents a very uniform spectral profile, showing only a small velocity shift which is unrelated to the intrinsic kinematics of the nebular emission. The Ly$\alpha$ extension is $\sim$4 times larger than the continuum emission, and makes this object comparable to low-mass LAEs at low redshift, and more compact than the Lyman-break galaxies and Ly$\alpha$ emitters usually studied at high redshift. We model the Ly$\alpha$ line and surface brightness profile using a radiative transfer code in an expanding gas shell, finding that this model provides a good description of both observables.

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V. Patricio, J. Richard, A. Verhamme, et. al.
Fri, 4 Dec 15

Comments: 19 pages, 15 figures, accepted in MNRAS