Lyα Profile, Dust, and Prediction of Lyα Escape Fraction in Green Pea Galaxies

Huan Yang, Sangeeta Malhotra, Max Gronke, James E. Rhoads, Claus Leitherer, Aida Wofford, Tianxing Jiang, Mark Dijkstra, V. Tilvi, Junxian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


We studied Lyman-α (Lyα) escape in a statistical sample of 43 Green Peas with HST/COS Lyα spectra. Green Peas are nearby star-forming galaxies with strong [O iii]λ5007 emission lines. Our sample is four times larger than the previous sample and covers a much more complete range of Green Pea properties. We found that about two-thirds of Green Peas are strong Lyα line emitters with rest-frame Lyα equivalent width . The Lyα profiles of Green Peas are diverse. The Lyα escape fraction, defined as the ratio of observed Lyα flux to intrinsic Lyα flux, shows anti-correlations with a few Lyα kinematic features - both the blue peak and red peak velocities, the peak separations, and the FWHM of the red portion of the Lyα profile. Using properties measured from Sloan Digital Sky Survey optical spectra, we found many correlations - the Lyα escape fraction generally increases at lower dust reddening, lower metallicity, lower stellar mass, and higher [O iii]/[O ii] ratio. We fit their Lyα profiles with the H i shell radiative transfer model and found that the Lyα escape fraction is anti-correlated with the best-fit N H i. Finally, we fit an empirical linear relation to predict from the dust extinction and Lyα red peak velocity. The standard deviation of this relation is about 0.3 dex. This relation can be used to isolate the effect of intergalactic medium (IGM) scatterings from Lyα escape and to probe the IGM optical depth along the line of sight of each Lyα emission-line galaxy in the James Webb Space Telescope era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number171
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Lyα Profile, Dust, and Prediction of Lyα Escape Fraction in Green Pea Galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this