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Mid-Infrared Observations of Extended Lyman-Alpha Halos at High Redshift

Tracy Webb

Université McGill

Deep narrow-band surveys have detected an enigmatic population of extended Lyman-alpha emitting nebulae at high redshift. These so-called Lyman-alpha Blobs (LABs) have projected physical extents of up to 200 kpc and Lyman-alpha luminosities of 10^44 ergs/s, but the mechanism powering their ionization remains unclear. They are prevalent in high-density regions which exhibit signs of intense star formation and nucleic activity and indeed the largest sample to date lies within in the SSA22 filament at z = 3.09. I will discuss the results of the first large mid-infrared study of this region using deep Spitzer IRAC and MIPS imaging. Through a study of the rest-frame optical and near-infrared spectral energy distributions of LABs I will show that many of these systems are ULIRG-like, with tentative indications of AGN activity, and are distinct from the more moderate star forming population of Lyman-break galaxies in the SSA22 structure. I will close with the implications of these results for the formation mechanism of LABs within the context of galaxy evolution.

Date: Jeudi, le 27 novembre 2008
Heure: 12:15
Lieu: Université de Montréal
  Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, Local D-460
Contact: Pierre Bergeron

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