Astrophys. J., 785, 64 (2014/April-2)
What is the physical origin of strong Lyα emission? I. Demographics of Lyα emitter structures.
SHIBUYA T., OUCHI M., NAKAJIMA K., YUMA S., HASHIMOTO T., SHIMASAKU K., MORI M. and UMEMURA M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of structure analyses for a large sample of 426 Lyα emitters (LAEs) at z ∼ 2.2 that are observed with the Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys and WFC3-IR during deep extra-galactic legacy surveys. We confirm that the merger fraction and the average ellipticity of LAE's stellar component are 10%-30% and 0.4-0.6, respectively, that are comparable with previous study results. We successfully identify that some LAEs have a spatial offset between Lyα and stellar-continuum emission peaks, δLyα, by ∼2.5-4 kpc beyond our statistical errors. To uncover the physical origin of strong Lyα emission found in LAEs, we investigate the Lyα equivalent width (EW) dependences of three structural parameters: merger fraction, δLyα, and ellipticity of stellar distribution in the range of EW(Lyα) = 20-250 Å. Contrary to expectations, we find that the merger fraction does not significantly increase with Lyα EW. We reveal an anti-correlation between δLyα and EW(Lyα) using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test. There is a trend that the LAEs with a large Lyα EW have a small ellipticity. This is consistent with the recent theoretical claims that Lyα photons can more easily escape from face-on disks having a small ellipticity, due to less inter-stellar gas along the line of sight, although our K-S test indicates that this trend is not statistically significant. Our results of Lyα-EW dependence generally support the idea that an H I column density is a key quantity determining Lyα emissivity.
cosmology: observations - early universe - galaxies: formation - galaxies: high-redshift
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