Aims. The demographics of the production and escape of ionizing photons from UV-faint early galaxies is a key unknown that has hindered attempts to discover the primary drivers of reionization. With the advent of JWST, it is finally possible to observe the rest-frame optical nebular emission from individual sub-L similar to z > 3 galaxies to measure the production rate of ionizing photons, xi(ion).Methods. Here we study a sample of 370 z similar to 3 7 galaxies spanning 23 < M-UV < 15:5 (median M-UV approximate to 18) with deep multiband HST and JWST /NIRCam photometry that covers the rest-UV to the optical from the GLASS and UNCOVER JWST surveys. Our sample includes 102 galaxies with Lyman-alpha emission detected in MUSE spectroscopy. We used H ff fluxes inferred from NIRCam photometry to estimate the production rate of ionizing photons that do not escape these galaxies, xi(ion)(1 f(esc)).Results. We find median log(10) xi(ion)(1 f(esc)) = 25.33 similar to 0.47, with a broad intrinsic scatter of 0.42 dex, which implies a broad range of galaxy properties and ages in our UV-faint sample. Galaxies detected with Lyman-alpha have similar to 0.1 dex higher xi(ion)(1 f(esc)), which is explained by their higher H ff equivalent width distribution; this implies younger ages and higher specific star formation rates and, thus, more O /B stars. We find significant trends of increasing xi(ion)(1 f(esc)) with increasing H ff equivalent width, decreasing UV luminosity, and decreasing UV slope; this implies that the production of ionizing photons is enhanced in young galaxies with assumed low metallicities. We find no significant evidence for sources with very high ionizing escape fractions (f(esc) > 0.5) in our sample based on their photometric properties, even amongst the Lyman-alpha-selected galaxies.Conclusions. This work demonstrates that considering the full distribution of xi(ion) across galaxy properties is important for assessing the primary drivers of reionization.

The production of ionizing photons in UV-faint z ∼ 3–7 galaxies

Mercurio, Amata;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Aims. The demographics of the production and escape of ionizing photons from UV-faint early galaxies is a key unknown that has hindered attempts to discover the primary drivers of reionization. With the advent of JWST, it is finally possible to observe the rest-frame optical nebular emission from individual sub-L similar to z > 3 galaxies to measure the production rate of ionizing photons, xi(ion).Methods. Here we study a sample of 370 z similar to 3 7 galaxies spanning 23 < M-UV < 15:5 (median M-UV approximate to 18) with deep multiband HST and JWST /NIRCam photometry that covers the rest-UV to the optical from the GLASS and UNCOVER JWST surveys. Our sample includes 102 galaxies with Lyman-alpha emission detected in MUSE spectroscopy. We used H ff fluxes inferred from NIRCam photometry to estimate the production rate of ionizing photons that do not escape these galaxies, xi(ion)(1 f(esc)).Results. We find median log(10) xi(ion)(1 f(esc)) = 25.33 similar to 0.47, with a broad intrinsic scatter of 0.42 dex, which implies a broad range of galaxy properties and ages in our UV-faint sample. Galaxies detected with Lyman-alpha have similar to 0.1 dex higher xi(ion)(1 f(esc)), which is explained by their higher H ff equivalent width distribution; this implies younger ages and higher specific star formation rates and, thus, more O /B stars. We find significant trends of increasing xi(ion)(1 f(esc)) with increasing H ff equivalent width, decreasing UV luminosity, and decreasing UV slope; this implies that the production of ionizing photons is enhanced in young galaxies with assumed low metallicities. We find no significant evidence for sources with very high ionizing escape fractions (f(esc) > 0.5) in our sample based on their photometric properties, even amongst the Lyman-alpha-selected galaxies.Conclusions. This work demonstrates that considering the full distribution of xi(ion) across galaxy properties is important for assessing the primary drivers of reionization.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4856241
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