Lyα and UV Sizes of Green Pea Galaxies

Huan Yang, Sangeeta Malhotra, James E. Rhoads, Claus Leitherer, Aida Wofford, Tianxing Jiang, Junxian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Green Peas are nearby analogs of high-redshift Lyα-emitting galaxies (LAEs). To probe their Lyα escape, we study the spatial profiles of Lyα and UV continuum emission of 24 Green Pea galaxies using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) on the Hubble Space Telescope. We extract the spatial profiles of Lyα emission from their 2D COS spectra, and of the UV continuum from both 2D spectra and NUV images. The Lyα emission shows more extended spatial profiles than the UV continuum, in most Green Peas. The deconvolved full width at half maximum of the Lyα spatial profile is about 2-4 times that of the UV continuum, in most cases. Because Green Peas are analogs of high z LAEs, our results suggest that most high-z LAEs probably have larger Lyα sizes than UV sizes. We also compare the spatial profiles of Lyα photons at blueshifted and redshifted velocities in eight Green Peas with sufficient data quality, and find that the blue wing of the Lyα line has a larger spatial extent than the red wing in four Green Peas with comparatively weak blue Lyα line wings. We show that Green Peas and MUSE z = 3-6 LAEs have similar Lyα and UV continuum sizes, which probably suggests that starbursts in both low-z and high-z LAEs drive similar gas outflows illuminated by Lyα light. Five Lyman continuum (LyC) leakers in this sample have similar Lyα to UV continuum size ratios (∼1.4-4.3) to the other Green Peas, indicating that their LyC emissions escape through ionized holes in the interstellar medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2017


  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • line: formation
  • radiative transfer
  • ultraviolet: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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