Stellar populations of Ly [alpha] emitting galaxies in the HETDEX Survey I : an analysis of LAEs in GOODS-N

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2021-12-03

Authors

McCarron, Adam Peter

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Abstract

We present the results of a stellar-population analysis of 72 Lyα emitting galaxies (LAEs) in GOODS-N at 1.9 < z < 3.5 spectroscopically identified by the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). Using photometric data spanning as many as 11 filters covering 0.4 < λ (μm) < 4.5 from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, we study the objects’ global properties and explore which properties impact the strength of Lyα emission. We also provide a method for connecting emission-line detections from the blind spectroscopic survey to imaging counterparts, a crucial tool needed as HETDEX builds a massive database of ~1 million Lyα detections. We measure a median stellar mass of 0.8 [⁺²·⁹ stacked on ₋₀.₅] ×10⁹ [Solar mass symbol] and conclude that the physical properties of HETDEX spectroscopically-selected LAEs are comparable to LAEs selected by previous deep narrow band studies. We find that stellar mass and star formation rate correlate strongly with the Lyα equivalent width. We then use a known sample of z > 7 LAEs to perform a proto-study of predicting Lyα emission from galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization. This investigation serves as a step toward gaining a deep, statistical insight into the LAE population through HETDEX in order to leverage the potential of higher-redshift LAEs to probe the IGM neutral fraction in the Epoch of Reionization

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