AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 21 Galaxies and Cosmology
Oral, Monday, 2:00-3:30pm, May 30, 2005, 102 E

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[21.09] Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies as probes of reionization

S. Malhotra, J. E. Rhoads (STScI)

The visibility of Lyman-alpha emission from galaxies is suppressed substantially in a neutral inter-galactic medium (IGM). Because of this, Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies can be used as a local probe of the IGM neutral fraction. By comparing luminosity functions of Lyman-alpha emitters at redshifts z=5.7 and z=6.5, we can rule out suppression of Lyman-alpha emission and thus show that the IGM was largely ionized at z=6.5. This method can be extended to higher redshifts to trace the reionization history of the universe, and to derive the topoplogy of the ionized regions at the redshifts of reionization.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
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