Jades: The emergence and evolution of Ly$α$ emission and constraints on the IGM neutral fraction

Gareth C. Jones, Andrew J. Bunker, Aayush Saxena, Joris Witstok, Daniel P. Stark, Santiago Arribas, William M. Baker, Rachana Bhatawdekar, Rebecca Bowler, Kristan Boyett, Alex J. Cameron, Stefano Carniani, Stephane Charlot, Jacopo Chevallard, Mirko Curti, Emma Curtis-Lake, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Kevin Hainline, Ryan Hausen, Zhiyuan JiBenjamin D. Johnson, Nimisha Kumari, Tobias J. Looser, Roberto Maiolino, Michael V. Maseda, Eleonora Parlanti, Hans-Walter Rix, Brant E. Robertson, Lester Sandles, Jan Scholtz, Renske Smit, Sandro Tacchella, Hannah Ubler, Chris Willott

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The rest-frame UV recombination emission line Ly$\alpha$ can be powered by ionising photons from young massive stars in star forming galaxies, but its ability to be resonantly scattered by neutral gas complicates its interpretation. For reionization era galaxies, a neutral intergalactic medium (IGM) will scatter Ly$\alpha$ from the line of sight, making Ly$\alpha$ a useful probe of the neutral fraction evolution. Here, we explore Ly$\alpha$ in JWST/NIRSpec spectra from the ongoing JADES programme, which targets hundreds of galaxies in the well-studied GOODS-S and GOODS-N fields. These sources are UV-faint ($-20.45.6$ (as derived with optical lines) are fit with line and continuum models, in order to search for significant line emission. Through exploration of the R100 data, we find evidence for Ly$\alpha$ in 17 sources. This sample allows us to place observational constraints on the fraction of galaxies with Ly$\alpha$ emission in the redshift range $5.6
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Dec 2023


  • astro-ph.GA


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