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Properties of five z ∼ 0.3-0.4 confirmed LyC leakers: VLT/XShooter observations

Abstract : Using new Very Large Telescope (VLT)/XShooter spectral observations we analyse the physical properties of five z ~ 0.3-0.4 confirmed Lyman continuum (LyC) leakers. Strong resonant Mg II λλ2796, 2803 Å emission lines (I(λλ2796, 2803)/I(Hβ) ≃ 10-38 per cent) and non-resonant Fe II* λλ2612, 2626 Å emission lines are observed in spectra of five and three galaxies, respectively. We find high electron densities Ne ~ 400 cm-3, significantly higher than in typical low-z, but comparable to those measured in z ~ 2-3 star-forming galaxies (SFGs). The galaxies have a mean value of log N/O = -1.16, close to the maximum values found for SFGs in the metallicity range of 12 + log O/H ≃ 7.7-8.1. All 11 low-z LyC emitting galaxies found by Izotov et al., including the ones considered in this study, are characterized by high equivalent width (EW) (Hβ) ~ 200-400 Å, high ionization parameter (log(U) = -2.5 to -1.7), high average ionizing photon production efficiency ξ = 1025.54 Hz erg-1, and hard ionizing radiation. On the Baldwin-Phillips-Terlevich (BPT) diagram we find the same offset of our leakers from low-z main-sequence SFGs as that for local analogues of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) and extreme SFGs at z ~ 2-3. We confirm the effectiveness of the He I emission lines diagnostics proposed by Izotov et al. in searching for LyC leaker candidates and find that their intensity ratios correspond to those in a median with low neutral hydrogen column density N(H I) = 1017-5 × 1017 cm-2 that permit leakage of LyC radiation, likely due to their density-bounded H II regions.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 7:52:10 AM
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N. G. Guseva, Y. I. Izotov, D. Schaerer, J. M. Vílchez, R. Amorín, et al.. Properties of five z ∼ 0.3-0.4 confirmed LyC leakers: VLT/XShooter observations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2020, 497, pp.4293-4310. ⟨10.1093/mnras/staa2197⟩. ⟨insu-03673115⟩

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