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The Lyman Continuum Escape Survey. II. Ionizing Radiation as a Function of the [O iii]/[O ii] Line Ratio

Nakajima, K; Ellis, R; Robertson, B; Tang, M; Stark, DP; (2020) The Lyman Continuum Escape Survey. II. Ionizing Radiation as a Function of the [O iii]/[O ii] Line Ratio. The Astrophysical Journal , 889 (2) , Article 161. 10.3847/1538-4357/ab6604. Green open access

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Abstract

We discuss the rest-frame optical emission line spectra of a large (~50) sample of z ~ 3.1 Lyα emitting galaxies (LAEs) whose physical properties suggest such sources are promising analogs of galaxies in the reionization era. Reliable Lyman continuum (LyC) escape fractions have now been determined for a large sample of such LAEs from the LymAn Continuum Escape Survey (LACES) undertaken via deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging in the SSA22 survey area reported in Fletcher et al. Using new measures of [O ii] emission secured from Keck MOSFIRE spectra we re-examine, for a larger sample, earlier claims that LyC leakages may correlate with the nebular emission line ratio [O iii]/[O ii] as expected for density-bound H ii regions. We find that a large [O iii]/[O ii] line ratio is indeed a necessary condition for LyC leakage, strengthening earlier claims made using smaller samples at various redshifts. However, not all LAEs with large [O iii]/[O ii] line ratios are leakers and leaking radiation appears not to be associated with differences in other spectral diagnostics. This suggests the detection of leaking radiation is modulated by an additional property, possibly the viewing angle for porous H ii regions. We discuss our new results in the context of the striking bimodality of LAE leakers and non-leakers found in the LACES program and the implications for the sources of cosmic reionization.

Type: Article
Title: The Lyman Continuum Escape Survey. II. Ionizing Radiation as a Function of the [O iii]/[O ii] Line Ratio
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab6604
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab6604
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: High-redshift galaxies ; Reionization ; Galaxy evolution
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088742
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