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Lyman Continuum Galaxy Candidates in COSMOS

Authors
  • Prichard, Laura J.
  • Rafelski, Marc1
  • Cooke, Jeff2,
  • Meštrić, Uros2,
  • Bassett, Robert2,
  • Ryan-Weber, Emma V.2,
  • Sunnquist, Ben
  • Alavi, Anahita
  • Hathi, Nimish
  • Wang, Xin
  • Revalski, Mitchell
  • Bajaj, Varun
  • O’Meara, John M.
  • Spitler, Lee3, 3
  • 1 Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 2 Swinburne University of Technology, Australia , (Australia)
  • 3 Macquarie University, Australia , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Astrophysical Journal
Publisher
American Astronomical Society
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Volume
924
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac3004
Source
ioppublishing
Disciplines
  • 310
  • Galaxies and Cosmology
License
Unknown

Abstract

Star-forming galaxies are the sources likely to have reionized the universe. As we cannot observe them directly due to the opacity of the intergalactic medium at z ≳ 5, we study z ∼ 3–5 galaxies as proxies to place observational constraints on cosmic reionization. Using new deep Hubble Space Telescope rest-frame UV F336W and F435W imaging (30 orbits, ∼40 arcmin2, ∼29–30 mag depth at 5σ), we attempt to identify a sample of Lyman continuum galaxies (LCGs). These are individual sources that emit ionizing flux below the Lyman break (<912 Å). This population would allow us to constrain cosmic reionization parameters such as the number density and escape fraction (f esc) of ionizing sources. We compile a comprehensive parent sample that does not rely on the Lyman-break technique for redshifts. We present three new spectroscopic candidates at z ∼ 3.7–4.4 and 32 new photometric candidates. The high-resolution multiband HST imaging and new Keck/Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS) redshifts make these promising spectroscopic LCG candidates. Using both a traditional and a probabilistic approach, we find that the most likely f esc values for the three spectroscopic LCG candidates are >100% and therefore not physical. We are unable to confirm the true nature of these sources with the best available imaging and direct blue Keck/LRIS spectroscopy. More spectra, especially from the new class of 30 m telescopes, will be required to build a statistical sample of LCGs to place firm observational constraints on cosmic reionization.

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