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Predicting Lyman-continuum emission of galaxies using their physical and Lyman-alpha emission properties

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Maji, M 
Verhamme, A 
Rosdahl, J 
Garel, T 
Blaizot, J 


The primary difficulty in understanding the sources and processes that powered cosmic reionization is that it is not possible to directly probe the ionizing Lyman Continuum (LyC) radiation at that epoch as those photons have been absorbed by the intervening neutral hydrogen in the IGM on their way to us. It is therefore imperative to build a model to accurately predict LyC emission using other properties of galaxies in the reionization era. In recent years, studies have shown that the LyC emission from galaxies may be correlated to their Lya emission. Here, we study this correlation by analyzing thousands of galaxies at high-z in the SPHINX cosmological simulation. We post-process these galaxies with the Lya radiative transfer code RASCAS and analyze the Lya - LyC connection. We find that the Lya and LyC luminosities are strongly correlated with each other, although with dispersion. There is a positive correlation between Lya and LyC escape fractions in the brightest Lya emitters (>1041 erg/s), similar to the recent observational studies. However, when we also include fainter Lya emitters (LAEs), the correlation disappears, which suggests that the observed relationship may be driven by selection effects. We also find that bright LAEs are dominant contributors to reionization (>1040 erg/s galaxies contribute >90% of LyC emission). Finally, we build predictive models using multivariate linear regression where we use the physical and the Lya properties of simulated galaxies to predict their intrinsic and escaping LyC luminosities with a high degree of accuracy. We find that the most important galaxy properties to predict the escaping LyC luminosity of a galaxy are its escaping Lya luminosity, gas mass, gas metallicity, and SFR. These models can be very useful to predict LyC emissions from galaxies and can help us identify the sources of reionization.



radiative transfer, galaxies: high-redshift, ultraviolet: galaxies, galaxies: general, methods: data analysis, methods: statistical

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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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EDP Sciences
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/S000623/1)