Journal Article

Lyα-driven outflows around star-forming galaxies

Mark Dijkstra and Abraham Loeb

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 1, pages 457-466
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Lyα-driven outflows around star-forming galaxies

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We present accurate Monte Carlo calculations of Lyα radiation pressure in a range of models which represent galaxies during various epochs of our Universe. We show that the radiation force that Lyα photons exert on hydrogen gas in the neutral intergalactic medium (IGM), that surrounds minihaloes that host the first stars, may exceed gravity by orders of magnitude and drive supersonic winds. Lyα radiation pressure may also dominate over gravity in the neutral IGM that surrounds the H ii regions produced by the first galaxies. However, the radiation force is likely too weak to result in supersonic outflows in this case. Furthermore, we show that Lyα radiation pressure may drive outflows in the interstellar medium of star-forming galaxies that reach hundreds of kilometres per second. This mechanism could also operate at lower redshifts z≲ 6, and may have already been indirectly detected in the spectral line shape of observed Lyα emission lines.

Keywords: radiation mechanisms: general; radiative transfer; ISM: bubbles; galaxies: high-redshift; cosmology: theory

Journal Article.  9233 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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