Journal Article

Infrared emission-line tomography of the intergalactic medium during the epoch of reionization

Koki Kakiichi, Avery Meiksin and Eric Tittley

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 426, issue 3, pages 2129-2136
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21890.x
Infrared emission-line tomography of the intergalactic medium during the epoch of reionization

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Abstract

The first major star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei will produce Balmer and higher order extended haloes during the epoch of reionization through the scattering of Lyman resonance line photons off the surrounding neutral intergalactic gas. The optical depth dependence of the scattering rates will produce a signal sensitive to both the density and velocity fluctuations of the gas, offering the possibility of probing the ionization region and flow field surrounding young star-forming galaxies. The requirements for detecting the haloes in the infrared using a space-based telescope are discussed. A suggested experiment designed to match the Balmer halo characteristics for a field of view with a 1 arcmin radius would have a signal-to-noise ratio of (1–3)Ṁ100t61/2, where Ṁ100 is the star formation rate in units of 100 M yr−1 and t6 is the exposure time in units of 106 s. Simultaneous measurements of multiple Balmer order haloes would reduce the integration time required for detection by a comparable factor.

Keywords: atomic processes; line: formation; radiative transfer; scattering; cosmology: theory; infrared: general

Journal Article.  4913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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