Discovery of a faint, star-forming, multiply lensed, Lyman-α blob

G. B. Caminha, W. Karman, P. Rosati, K. I. Caputi, F. Arrigoni Battaia, I. Balestra, C. Grillo, A. Mercurio, M. Nonino, E. Vanzella

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Abstract

We report the discovery of a multiply lensed Lyman-α blob (LAB) behind the galaxy cluster AS1063 using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The background source is at z = 3.117 and is intrinsically faint compared to almost all previously reported LABs. We used our highly precise strong lensing model to reconstruct the source properties, and we find an intrinsic luminosity of LLyα = 1.9 × 1042 erg s-1, extending to 33 kpc. We find that the LAB is associated with a group of galaxies, and possibly a protocluster, in agreement with previous studies that find LABs in overdensities. In addition to Lyman-α (Lyα) emission, we find C iv, He ii, and O iii] ultraviolet (UV) emission lines arising from the centre of the nebula. We used the compactness of these lines in combination with the line ratios to conclude that the Lyα nebula is likely powered by embedded star formation. Resonant scattering of the Lyα photons then produces the extended shape of the emission. Thanks to the combined power of MUSE and strong gravitational lensing, we are now able to probe the circumgalatic medium of sub-L∗ galaxies at z ≈ 3.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA100
JournalAstronomy & astrophysics
Volume595
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2016

Keywords

  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: star formation
  • intergalactic medium
  • galaxies: halos
  • galaxies: evolution
  • cosmology: observations
  • Z-SIMILAR-TO-2.5 RADIO GALAXIES
  • HIGH-REDSHIFT GALAXIES
  • EQUAL-TO 2.3
  • HE II
  • C IV
  • CIRCUMGALACTIC MEDIUM
  • ABELL S1063
  • EMISSION
  • SPECTROSCOPY
  • NEBULA

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