[O III] Emission and Gas Kinematics in a Lyman-alpha Blob at z ~ 3.1

Emily M. McLinden, Sangeeta Malhotra, James E. Rhoads, Pascale Hibon, Anne-Marie Weijmans, Vithal Tilvi

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We present spectroscopic measurements of the [O III] emission line from two subregions of strong Lyα emission in a radio-quiet Lyman-alpha blob (LAB). The blob under study is LAB1 at z ~ 3.1, and the [O III] detections are from the two Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) embedded in the blob halo. The [O III] measurements were made with LUCIFER on the 8.4 m Large Binocular Telescope and NIRSPEC on 10 m Keck Telescope. Comparing the redshift of the [O III] measurements to Lyα redshifts from SAURON allows us to take a step toward understanding the kinematics of the gas in the blob. Using both LUCIFER and NIRSPEC we find velocity offsets between the [O III] and Lyα redshifts that are modestly negative or consistent with 0 km s-1 in both subregions studied (ranging from -72 ± 42- + 6 ± 33 km s-1). A negative offset means Lyα is blueshifted with respect to [O III] a positive offset then implies Lyα is redshifted with respect to [O III]. These results may imply that outflows are not primarily responsible for Lyman alpha escape in this LAB, since outflows are generally expected to produce a positive velocity offset. In addition, we present an [O III] line flux upper limit on a third region of LAB1, a region that is unassociated with any underlying galaxy. We find that the [O III] upper limit from the galaxy-unassociated region of the blob is at least 1.4-2.5 times fainter than the [O III] flux from one of the LBG-associated regions and has an [O III] to Lyα ratio measured at least 1.9-3.4 times smaller than the same ratio measured from one of the LBGs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2013


  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • intergalactic medium


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