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Characterizing Strongly Lensed Lyman-Alpha Emitting Galaxies at z > 4

Presentation #303.03 in the session Strong and Weak Gravitational Lensing & More — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Characterizing Strongly Lensed Lyman-Alpha Emitting Galaxies at z > 4

Lyman-Alpha emission is a valuable tool for identifying star-forming galaxies, as large quantities are emitted from neutral HII regions around young, massive stars. Lyman-Alpha is Hydrogen’s brightest recombination line, making it an excellent tracer for star formation, as well as being able to precisely identify redshifts. However, Lyman-Alpha is scattered by neutral Hydrogen through non-trivial processes, making spatial measurements difficult to use. While Lyman-Alpha is useful at all redshifts, high redshift Lyman-Alpha Emitters (LAEs) are often too faint and/or have very small angular sizes, making them difficult to study individually. We analyze six strongly gravitationally lensed LAEs at 4.1 < z < 5.2, taking advantage of the magnification to perform a high spatial resolution study of young galaxies in the distant universe. We examine their morphologies in Lyman-Alpha and the UV continuum, and compare them to local universe analogues. Broadband data from Hubble (rest-frame UV) and Spitzer (rest-frame optical) is combined with narrowband data isolating Lyman-Alpha to gain photometric measurements. Additionally, models of the lenses allow creation of source plane images, which are used to measure intrinsic properties of the LAEs such as size and brightness. The LAEs fall into two broad categories: extended Lyman-Alpha emission concentric with the UV continuum, and clumpy Lyman-Alpha emission dispersed among the UV continuum. The bimodality of this sample suggests that LAEs in the distant universe are not a homogeneous class of objects.

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