Magnifying the early episodes of star formation: super-star clusters at cosmological distances [GA]

We present VLT/MUSE and VLT/X-Shooter spectra of two faint (m_uv ~ 30.6), young (< 100 Myr), low-mass (<10^(7) Msun), low-metallicity (12+Log(O/H)~7.7, or 1/10 solar) and compact (30 pc effective radius) stellar systems separated by ~300 pc at z=3.2222, after correcting from the strong lensing effect. Six multiple images have been identified in the Hubble Frontier Field images of the galaxy cluster MACS-J0416, with magnifications \mu~40-70 for the brightest ones. We measured CIV1548-1550, HeII1640, OIII]1661-1666, CIII]1907-1909, Hbeta and [OIII]4959-5007 emission lines with velocity dispersion \sigma_v < 25 km/s measured with X-Shooter and (de-lensed) line fluxes as faint as 10^(-19) erg/s/cm2. This suggests hot stars are present in star-clusters whose mass is dominated by the stellar mass. Remarkably, the ultraviolet metal lines are not accompanied by Lya emission (e.g., CIV / Lya > 12), despite the Lya line flux is expected to be 150 times brighter (inferred from the Hbeta flux) arising in a mostly photo-ionized medium ([OIII]5007 / [OII]3727 >10). The detection at the same redshift of a spatially-offset and strongly-magnified (\mu >50) Lya emission at ~2 kpc, with a de-lensed spatial extension < 7.6 kpc^2, suggests a transverse leakage of ionizing radiation from the star-clusters that induces Lya fluorescence. The offset emission could also originate from another extremely faint source with m_uv >34 (de-lensed) and EW(Lya) > 450\AA\ rest-frame. This is the first confirmed metal-line emitter at such low-luminosity and redshift without Lya emission, suggesting that a highly fluctuating Lya visibility might be in place also in these regimes and small sizes.

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E. Vanzella, M. Castellano, M. Meneghetti, et. al.
Wed, 8 Mar 17

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures. Submitted to ApJL. Comments welcome