The escape of ionizing photons from supernova-dominated primordial galaxies

Hidenobu Yajima, Masayuki Umemura, Masao Mori, Taishi Nakamoto

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48 Citations (Scopus)


In order to assess the contribution of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) and Lyman α emitters (LAEs) at redshifts 3 < z < 7 to the ionization of intergalactic medium (IGM), we investigate the escape fractions of ionizing photons from supernova-dominated primordial galaxies by solving the three-dimensional (3D) radiative transfer. The model galaxy is employed from an ultra-high-resolution chemodynamic simulation of a primordial galaxy by Mori and Umemura, which well reproduces the observed properties of LAEs and LBGs. The total mass of model galaxy is 1011 M. We solve not only photoionization but also collisional ionization by shocks. In addition, according to the chemical enrichment, we incorporate the effect of dust extinction, taking the size distributions of dust into account. As a result, we find that dust extinction reduces the escape fractions by a factor of 1.5-8.5 in the LAE phase and by a factor of 2.5-11 in the LBG phase, while the collisional ionization by shocks increases the escape fractions by a factor of ≈2. The resultant escape fractions are 0.07-0.47 in the LAE phase and 0.06-0.17 in the LBG phase. These results are well concordant with the recent estimations derived from the flux density ratio at 1500 to 900 Å of LAEs and LBGs. Combining the resultant escape fractions with the luminosity functions of LAEs and LBGs, we find that high-z LAEs and LBGs can ionize the IGM at z = 3-5. However, ionizing radiation from LAEs as well as LBGs falls short of ionizing the IGM at z > 6. That implies that additional ionization sources may be required at z > 6.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Dust, extinction
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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