Cooling radiation and the Ly alpha luminosity of forming galaxies
Fardal, M. A.
Gardner, J. P.
Weinberg, D. H.
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CitationFardal, Mark A., Neal Katz, Jeffrey P. Gardner, Lars Hernquist, David H. Weinberg, and Romeel Dave. 2001. “Cooling Radiation and the Lyα Luminosity of Forming Galaxies.” The Astrophysical Journal 562 (2): 605–17. https://doi.org/10.1086/323519.
AbstractWe examine the cooling radiation from forming galaxies in hydrodynamic simulations of the LCDM model (cold dark matter with a cosmological constant), focusing on the Ly alpha line luminosities of high-redshift systems. Primordial composition gas condenses within dark matter potential wells, forming objects with masses and sizes comparable to the luminous regions of observed galaxies. As expected, the energy radiated in this process is comparable to the gravitational binding energy of the baryons, and the total cooling luminosity of the galaxy population peaks at z approximate to 2. However, in contrast to the classical picture of gas cooling from the similar to 10(6) K virial temperature of a typical dark matter halo, we find that most of the cooling radiation is emitted by gas with T < 20,000 K. As a consequence, roughly 50% of this cooling radiation emerges in the Ly<alpha> line. While a galaxy's cooling luminosity is usually smaller than the ionizing continuum luminosity of its young stars, the two are comparable in the most massive systems, and the cooling radiation is produced at larger radii, where the Ly alpha photons are less likely to be extinguished by dust. We suggest, in particular, that cooling radiation could explain the two large (similar to 100 kpc), luminous (L-Ly alpha similar to 10(44) ergs s(-1)) "blobs" of Ly alpha emission found in the narrowband survey of a z = 3 protocluster by Steidel and collaborators. Our simulations predict objects of the observed luminosity at about the right space density, and radiative transfer effects can account for the observed sizes and line widths. We discuss observable tests of this hypothesis for the nature of the Ly alpha blobs, and we present predictions for the contribution of cooling radiation to the Ly alpha luminosity function of galaxies as a function of redshift.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41381819
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