Exploring He II λ1640 emission line properties at z ∼2-4 - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2019

Exploring He II λ1640 emission line properties at z ∼2-4

Themiya Nanayakkara
  • Function : Author
Jarle Brinchmann
  • Function : Author
Leindert Boogaard
  • Function : Author
Rychard Bouwens
  • Function : Author
Sebastiano Cantalupo
  • Function : Author
Wolfram Kollatschny
  • Function : Author
Raffaella Anna Marino
  • Function : Author
Michael Maseda
  • Function : Author
Jorryt Matthee
  • Function : Author
Mieke Paalvast
  • Function : Author
Anne Verhamme
  • Function : Author


Deep optical spectroscopic surveys of galaxies provide a unique opportunity to investigate rest-frame ultra-violet (UV) emission line properties of galaxies at z ∼ 2 - 4.5. Here we combine VLT/MUSE Guaranteed Time Observations of the Hubble Deep Field South, Ultra Deep Field, COSMOS, and several quasar fields with other publicly available data from VLT/VIMOS and VLT/FORS2 to construct a catalogue of He II λ1640 emitters at z ≳ 2. The deepest areas of our MUSE pointings reach a 3σ line flux limit of 3.1 × 10-19 erg s-1 cm-2. After discarding broad-line active galactic nuclei, we find 13 He II λ1640 detections from MUSE with a median MUV = -20.1 and 21 tentative He II λ1640 detections from other public surveys. Excluding Lyα, all except two galaxies in our sample show at least one other rest-UV emission line, with C III] λ1907, λ1909 being the most prominent. We use multi-wavelength data available in the Hubble legacy fields to derive basic galaxy properties of our sample through spectral energy distribution fitting techniques. Taking advantage of the high-quality spectra obtained by MUSE (∼10 - 30 h of exposure time per pointing), we use photo-ionisation models to study the rest-UV emission line diagnostics of the He II λ1640 emitters. Line ratios of our sample can be reproduced by moderately sub-solar photo-ionisation models, however, we find that including effects of binary stars lead to degeneracies in most free parameters. Even after considering extra ionising photons produced by extreme sub-solar metallicity binary stellar models, photo-ionisation models are unable to reproduce rest-frame He II λ1640 equivalent widths (∼0.2 - 10 Å), thus additional mechanisms are necessary in models to match the observed He II λ1640 properties.
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Dates and versions

insu-03711430 , version 1 (02-07-2022)



Themiya Nanayakkara, Jarle Brinchmann, Leindert Boogaard, Rychard Bouwens, Sebastiano Cantalupo, et al.. Exploring He II λ1640 emission line properties at z ∼2-4. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2019, 624, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201834565⟩. ⟨insu-03711430⟩
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