The rest-frame UV recombination emission line Lyα can be powered by ionising photons from young massive stars in star-forming galaxies, but the fact that it can be resonantly scattered by neutral gas complicates its interpretation. For reionisation-era galaxies, a neutral intergalactic medium will scatter Lyα from the line of sight, making Lyα a useful probe of the neutral fraction evolution. Here, we explore Lyα in JWST/NIRSpec spectra from the ongoing JADES programme, which targets hundreds of galaxies in the well-studied GOODS-S and GOODS-N fields. These sources are UV-faint (-20.4 < MUV <-16.4) and thus represent a poorly explored class of galaxy. We fitted the low spectral resolution spectra (R ∼ 100) of a subset of 84 galaxies in GOODS-S with zspec > 5.6 (as derived with optical lines) with line and continuum models to search for significant line emission. Through exploration of the R100 data, we find evidence for Lyα in 17 sources. This sample allowed us to place observational constraints on the fraction of galaxies with Lyα emission in the redshift range 5.6 < z < 7.5, with a decrease from z = 6 to z = 7. We also find a positive correlation between the Lyα equivalent width and MUV, as seen in other samples. We used these results to estimate the neutral gas fraction at z ∼ 7, and our estimates are in agreement with previous results (XHI ∼ 0.5-0.9).

JADES : the emergence and evolution of Ly α emission and constraints on the intergalactic medium neutral fraction

Carniani S.;Parlanti E.;
2024

Abstract

The rest-frame UV recombination emission line Lyα can be powered by ionising photons from young massive stars in star-forming galaxies, but the fact that it can be resonantly scattered by neutral gas complicates its interpretation. For reionisation-era galaxies, a neutral intergalactic medium will scatter Lyα from the line of sight, making Lyα a useful probe of the neutral fraction evolution. Here, we explore Lyα in JWST/NIRSpec spectra from the ongoing JADES programme, which targets hundreds of galaxies in the well-studied GOODS-S and GOODS-N fields. These sources are UV-faint (-20.4 < MUV <-16.4) and thus represent a poorly explored class of galaxy. We fitted the low spectral resolution spectra (R ∼ 100) of a subset of 84 galaxies in GOODS-S with zspec > 5.6 (as derived with optical lines) with line and continuum models to search for significant line emission. Through exploration of the R100 data, we find evidence for Lyα in 17 sources. This sample allowed us to place observational constraints on the fraction of galaxies with Lyα emission in the redshift range 5.6 < z < 7.5, with a decrease from z = 6 to z = 7. We also find a positive correlation between the Lyα equivalent width and MUV, as seen in other samples. We used these results to estimate the neutral gas fraction at z ∼ 7, and our estimates are in agreement with previous results (XHI ∼ 0.5-0.9).
2024
Settore FIS/05 - Astronomia e Astrofisica
Dark ages; First stars; Galaxies: high-redshift; Intergalactic medium; Reionization
   Winds in galaxies.
   WINGS
   European Commission
   Grant Agreement n. 101040227

   Finding the most distant galaxies with NIRSpec guaranteed time on the James Webb Space Telescope
   FirstGalaxies
   European Commission
   Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
   789056

   Star formation quenching and feedback in galaxies throughout the cosmic epochs
   QUENCH
   European Commission
   Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
   695671
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/143383
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