Ly$α$ profile, dust, and prediction of Ly$α$ escape fraction in Green Pea Galaxies [GA]

We studied Lyman-$\alpha$ (Ly$\alpha$) escape in a statistical sample of 43 Green Peas with HST/COS Ly$\alpha$ spectra. Green Peas are nearby star-forming galaxies with strong [OIII]$\lambda$5007 emission lines. Our sample is four times larger than the previous sample and covers a much more complete range of Green Pea properties. We found that about 2/3 of Green Peas are strong Ly$\alpha$ line emitters with rest-frame Ly$\alpha$ equivalent width $>20$ \AA. The Ly$\alpha$ profiles of Green Peas are diverse. The Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction, defined as the ratio of observed Ly$\alpha$ flux to intrinsic Ly$\alpha$ flux, shows anti-correlations with a few Ly$\alpha$ kinematic features — both the blue peak and red peak velocities, the peak separations, and FWHM of the red portion of the Ly$\alpha$ profile. Using properties measured from SDSS optical spectra, we found many correlations — Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction generally increases at lower dust reddening, lower metallicity, lower stellar mass, and higher [OIII]/[OII] ratio. We fit their Ly$\alpha$ profiles with the HI shell radiative transfer model and found Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction anti-correlates with the best-fit $N_{HI}$. Finally, we fit an empirical linear relation to predict Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction from the dust extinction and Ly$\alpha$ red peak velocity. The standard deviation of this relation is about 0.3 dex. This relation can be used to isolate the effect of IGM scatterings from Ly$\alpha$ escape and to probe the IGM optical depth along the line of sight of each $z>7$ Ly$\alpha$ emission line galaxy in the JWST era.

Read this paper on arXiv…

H. Yang, S. Malhotra, M. Gronke, et. al.
Tue, 10 Jan 17

Comments: 15 pages, 11 figures, 3 tables. Submitted to ApJ. Comments welcome