Volume 624, April 2019
|Number of page(s)||28|
|Published online||16 April 2019|
Exploring He II λ1640 emission line properties at z ∼2−4
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Instituto de Astrofisica e Ciencias do Espaco, Universidade do Porto, CAUP, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
3 ETH Zurich, Department of Physics, HIT J31.5, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
4 Univ. Lyon, Univ. Lyon1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL), UMR 5574, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
5 Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), Via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy
6 Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
7 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
Accepted: 14 February 2019
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.
Key words: galaxies: ISM / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: high-redshift
© ESO 2019
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