Stockholms universitet

Matthew HayesUniversitetslektor



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • CLASSY. VIII. Exploring the Source of Ionization with UV Interstellar Medium Diagnostics in Local High-z Analogs

    2024. Matilde Mingozzi (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 962 (1)


    In the current JWST era, rest-frame UV spectra play a crucial role in enhancing our understanding of the interstellar medium (ISM) and stellar properties of the first galaxies in the epoch of reionization (z > 6). Here, we compare well-known and reliable optical diagrams sensitive to the main ionization source (i.e., star formation, SF; active galactic nuclei, AGN; and shocks) to UV counterparts proposed in the literature—the so-called "UV–BPT diagrams"—using the HST COS Legacy Archive Spectroscopic SurveY (CLASSY), which is the largest high-quality, high-resolution, and broad-wavelength range atlas of far-UV spectra for 45 local star-forming galaxies. In particular, we explore where CLASSY UV line ratios are located in the different UV diagnostic plots, taking into account state-of-the-art photoionization and shock models, and, for the first time, the measured ISM and stellar properties (e.g., gas-phase metallicity, ionization parameter, carbon abundance, and stellar age). We find that the combination of C iii] λλ1907,9 He iiλ1640 and O iii] λ1666 can be a powerful tool to separate between SF, shocks, and AGN at subsolar metallicities. We also confirm that alternative diagrams without O iii] λ1666 still allow us to define an SF-locus, with some caveats. Diagrams including C ivλλ1548,51 should be taken with caution given the complexity of this doublet profile. Finally, we present a discussion detailing the ISM conditions required to detect UV emission lines, visible only in low gas-phase metallicity (12 + log(O/H) ≲ 8.3) and high ionization parameter (log(U) ≳ −2.5) environments. Overall, CLASSY and our UV toolkit will be crucial in interpreting the spectra of the earliest galaxies that JWST is currently revealing.

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  • A ∼15 kpc outflow cone piercing through the halo of the blue compact metal-poor galaxy SBS 0335–052E

    2023. E. C. Herenz (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 670


    Context. Outflows from low-mass star-forming galaxies are a fundamental ingredient for models of galaxy evolution and cosmology. Despite seemingly favourable conditions for outflow formation in compact starbursting galaxies, convincing observational evidence for kiloparsec-scale outflows in such systems is scarce.

    Aims. The onset of kiloparsec-scale ionised filaments in the halo of the metal-poor compact dwarf SBS 0335−052E was previously not linked to an outflow. In this paper we investigate whether these filaments provide evidence for an outflow.

    Methods. We obtained new VLT/MUSE WFM and deep NRAO/VLA B-configuration 21 cm data of the galaxy. The MUSE data provide morphology, kinematics, and emission line ratios of Hβ/Hα and [O III]λ5007/Hα of the low surface-brightness filaments, while the VLA data deliver morphology and kinematics of the neutral gas in and around the system. Both datasets are used in concert for comparisons between the ionised and the neutral phase.

    Results. We report the prolongation of a lacy filamentary ionised structure up to a projected distance of 16 kpc at SB = 1.5 × 10−18 erg s cm−2 arcsec−2. The filaments exhibit unusual low Hα/Hβ ≈ 2.4 and low [O III]/Hα ∼ 0.4 − 0.6 typical of diffuse ionised gas. They are spectrally narrow (∼20 km s−1) and exhibit no velocity sub-structure. The filaments extend outwards from the elongated H I halo. On small scales, the NHI peak is offset from the main star-forming sites. The morphology and kinematics of H I and H II reveal how star-formation-driven feedback interacts differently with the ionised and the neutral phase.

    Conclusions. We reason that the filaments are a large-scale manifestation of star-formation- driven feedback, namely limb-brightened edges of a giant outflow cone that protrudes through the halo of this gas-rich system. A simple toy model of such a conical structure is found to be commensurable with the observations.

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  • On the Sizes of Ionized Bubbles Around Galaxies During the Reionization Epoch. The Spectral Shapes of the Lya Emission from Galaxies

    2023. Matthew J. Hayes, Claudia Scarlata. Astrophysical Journal Letters 954 (1)


    We develop a new method to determine the distance between a high-redshift galaxy and a foreground screen of atomic hydrogen. In a partially neutral universe, and assuming spherical symmetry, this equates to the radius of an ionized bubble (R B) surrounding the galaxy. The method requires an observed Lya equivalent width, its velocity offset from systemic, and an input Lya profile for which we adopt scaled versions of the profiles observed in low-z galaxies. We demonstrate the technique in a sample of 23 galaxies at z > 6, including 8 at z = 7.2-10.6 recently observed with JWST. Our model estimates the emergent Lya properties and the foreground distance to the absorbing intergalactic medium. We find that galaxies at z > 7.5 occupy smaller bubbles (& SIM;0.5-1 pMpc) than those at lower z. With a relationship that is secure at 99% confidence, we empirically demonstrate the growth of ionized regions during the reionization epoch for the first time. We independently estimate the upper limit on the Stromgren radii (R S), and derive the escape fraction of ionizing photons ( fescLyC ) from the ratio of R B/R S, deriving a median value of 5%, which, on average, represents the lower end of the photon budget necessary for reionization.

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  • Accelerating galaxy winds during the big bang of starbursts

    2023. Matthew J. Hayes. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 519 (1), L26-L31


    We develop a new method to infer the temporal, geometric, and energetic properties of galaxy outflows, by combining stellar spectral modelling to infer starburst ages, and absorption lines to measure velocities. If winds are accelerated with time during a starburst event, then these two measurements enable us to solve for the wind radius, similarly to length-scales and the Hubble parameter in big bang cosmology. This wind radius is the vital, but hard-to-constrain parameter in wind physics. We demonstrate the method using spectra of 87 starburst galaxies at z = 0.05 − 0.44, finding that winds accelerate throughout the starburst phase and grow to typical radii of ≈1 kpc in ≈10 Myr. Mass flow rates increase rapidly with time, and the mass-loading factor exceeds unity at about 10 Myr – while still being accelerated, the gas will likely unbind from the local potential and enrich the circumgalactic medium. We model the mechanical energy available from stellar winds and supernovae, and estimate that a negligible amount is accounted for in the cool outflow at early times. However, the energy deposition increases rapidly and ∼10 per cent of the budget is accounted for in the cool flow at 10 Myr, similar to some recent hydrodynamical simulations. We discuss how this model can be developed, especially for high-redshift galaxies.

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  • HST FUV Spectroscopy of Super Star Cluster A in the Green Pea Analog Mrk 71: Revealing the Presence of Very Massive Stars

    2023. Linda J. Smith (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 958 (2)


    Mrk 71 is a low-metallicity (Z = 0.16 Z) starburst region in the local dwarf galaxy NGC 2366, hosting two super star clusters (SSCs A and B), and it is recognized as a Green Pea (GP) analog with SSC A responsible for the GP properties. We present STIS and FOS far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectra of the embedded SSC Mrk 71-A obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. The STIS FUV spectrum shows the characteristic features of very massive stars (VMS; masses >100 M) and we derive an age of 1 ± 1 Myr by comparison with the Charlot & Bruzual suite of spectral population synthesis models with upper mass limits of 300 and 600 M. We compare the STIS spectrum with all known SSC spectra exhibiting VMS signatures: NGC 5253-5, R136a, NGC 3125-A1, and the z = 2.37 Sunburst cluster. We find that the cluster mass-loss rates and wind velocities, as characterized by the C iv P Cygni profiles and the He ii emission line strengths, are very similar over Z = 0.16–0.4 Z. This agrees with predictions that the optically thick winds of VMS will be enhanced near the Eddington limit and show little metallicity dependence. We find very strong damped Lyα absorption with N(H i) =1022.2 cm−2 associated with Mrk 71-A. We discuss the natal environment of this young SSC in terms of radiatively driven winds, catastrophic cooling, and recent models where the cluster is surrounded by highly pressurized clouds with large neutral columns.

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  • Spectral shapes of the Ly α emission from galaxies – II. The influence of stellar properties and nebular conditions on the emergent Ly α profiles

    2023. Matthew J. Hayes (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 520 (4), 5903-5927


    We demonstrate how the stellar and nebular conditions in star-forming galaxies modulate the emission and spectral profile of H I Ly α emission line. We examine the net Ly α output, kinematics, and in particular emission of blueshifted Ly α radiation, using spectroscopy from with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on Hubble Space Telescope (HST), giving a sample of 87 galaxies at redshift z = 0.05−0.44. We contrast the Ly α spectral measurements with properties of the ionized gas (from optical spectra) and stars (from stellar modelling). We demonstrate correlations of unprecedented strength between the Ly α escape fraction (and equivalent width) and the ionization parameter (p ≈ 10−15). The relative contribution of blueshifted emission to the total Ly α also increases from ≈0 to ≈40 per cent over the range of O32 ratios (p ≈ 10−6). We also find particularly strong correlations with estimators of stellar age and nebular abundance, and weaker correlations regarding thermodynamic variables. Low ionization stage absorption lines suggest the Ly α emission and line profile are predominantly governed by the column of absorbing gas near zero velocity. Simultaneous multiparametric analysis over many variables shows we can predict 80 per cent of the variance on Ly α luminosity, and ∼50 per cent on the EW. We determine the most crucial predictive variables, finding that for tracers of the ionization state and H β luminosity dominate the luminosity prediction whereas the Ly α EW is best predicted by H β EW and the H α/H β ratio. We discuss our results with reference to high-redshift observations, focussing upon the use of Ly α to probe the nebular conditions in high-z galaxies and cosmic reionization.

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  • The Impact of Cosmic Variance on Inferences of Global Neutral Fraction Derived from Lyα Luminosity Functions during Reionization

    2023. Sean Bruton (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 953 (1)


    We investigate the impact of field-to -field variation, deriving from cosmic variance, in measured Ly alpha emitter (LAE) luminosity functions (LFs) and this variation's impact on inferences of the neutral fraction of the intergalactic medium (IGM) during reionization. We post-process a z = 7 IGM simulation to populate the dark matter halos with LAEs. These LAEs have realistic UV magnitudes, Ly alpha fluxes, and Ly alpha line profiles. We calculate the attenuation of Ly alpha emission in universes with varying IGM neutral fraction, (x) over bar (H I). In a (x) over bar (H I) = 0.3 simulation, we perform 100 realizations of a mock 2 deg(2) survey with a redshift window Delta z = 0.5 and flux limit f(Ly alpha) > 1 x 10(-17)erg s(-1) cm(-2); such a survey is typical in depth and volume of the largest LAE surveys conducted today. For each realization, we compute the LAE LF and use it to recover the input x(H I). Comparing the inferred values of (x) over bar (H) (I) across the ensemble of the surveys, we find that cosmic variance, deriving from large-scale structure and variation in the neutral gas along the sightline, imposes a floor in the uncertainty of Delta(x) over bar (HI) similar to 0.2 when (x) over bar (H) (I) = 0.3. We explore mitigation strategies to decrease this uncertainty, such as increasing the volume, decreasing the flux limit, or probing the volume with many independent fields. Increasing the area and/or depth of the survey does not mitigate the uncertainty, but composing a survey with many independent fields is effective. This finding highlights the best strategy for LAE surveys aiming at constraining the (x) over bar (HI) of the universe during reionization.

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  • A bottom-up search for Lyman-continuum leakage in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

    2022. Thøger Emil Juul Rivera-Thorsen, Matthew J. Hayes, Jens Melinder. Astronomy and Astrophysics 666


    Context. When studying the production and escape of Lyman continuum (LyC) from galaxies, it is standard to rely on an array of indirect observational tracers in the preselection of candidate leakers.

    Aims. In this work, we investigate how much ionizing radiation might be missed due to these selection criteria by completely removing them and performing a search selected purely from rest-frame LyC emission; and how that affects our estimates of the ionizing background.

    Methods. We inverted the conventional method and performed a bottom-up search for LyC leaking galaxies at redshifts 2 ≲ z ≲ 3.5. Using archival data from HST and VLT/MUSE, we ran source finding software on UV-filter HST images from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), and subjected all detected sources to a series of tests to eliminate those that are inconsistent with being ionizing sources.

    Results. We find six new and one previously identified candidate leakers with absolute escape fractions ranging from 36% to ∼100%. Our filtering criteria eliminate one object previously reported as a candidate ionizing emitter in the literature, and we report non-detections in the rest-frame Lyman continuum of two other previously reported sources. We find that our candidates make a contribution to the metagalactic ionizing field of log10(ϵν) = 25.32−0.21+0.25 and 25.29−0.22+0.27 erg s−1 Hz−1 cMpc−3 for the full set of candidates and for the four strongest candidates only; both values are higher than but consistent with other recent figures in the literature.

    Conclusions. Our findings suggest that galaxies that do not meet the usual selection criteria may make a non-negligible contribution to the cosmic ionizing field. We recommend that similar searches be carried out on a larger scale in well-studied fields with both UV and large ancillary data coverage, for example in the full set of CANDELS fields.

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  • (Re)Solving reionization with Lyα: how bright Lyα Emitters account for the z ≈ 2–8 cosmic ionizing background

    2022. Jorryt Matthee (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 512 (4), 5960-5977


    The cosmic ionizing emissivity from star-forming galaxies has long been anchored to UV luminosity functions. Here, we introduce an emissivity framework based on Lyα emitters (LAEs), which naturally hones in on the subset of galaxies responsible for the ionizing background due to the intimate connection between production and escape of Lyα and LyC photons. Using constraints on the escape fractions of bright LAEs (LLyα > 0.2L*) at z ≈ 2 obtained from resolved Lyα profiles, and arguing for their redshift-invariance, we show that: (i) quasars and LAEs together reproduce the relatively flat emissivity at z ≈ 2–6, which is non-trivial given the strong evolution in both the star formation density and quasar number density at these epochs and (ii) LAEs produce late and rapid reionization between z ≈ 6−9 under plausible assumptions. Within this framework, the >10 × rise in the UV population-averaged fesc between z ≈ 3–7 naturally arises due to the same phenomena that drive the growing LAE fraction with redshift. Generally, a LAE dominated emissivity yields a peak in the distribution of the ionizing budget with UV luminosity as reported in latest simulations. Using our adopted parameters (⁠fesc=50 per cent⁠, ξion = 1025.9 Hz erg−1 for half the bright LAEs), a highly ionizing minority of galaxies with MUV < −17 accounts for the entire ionizing budget from star-forming galaxies. Rapid flashes of LyC from such rare galaxies produce a ‘disco’ ionizing background. We conclude proposing tests to further develop our suggested Lyα-anchored formalism.

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  • The Universe is at Most 88% Neutral at z=10.6

    2023. Sean Bruton (et al.). Astrophysical Journal Letters 949 (2)


    Recent observations of GN-z11 with JWST have revealed a Ly alpha emission line with an equivalent width (EW) of 18 +/- 2 angstrom. At z = 10.6, this galaxy is expected to lie in the heart of reionization. We use a series of inhomogeneous reionization simulations to derive the distribution of the Ly alpha EW after traveling through the neutral intergalactic medium with varying average neutral gas fraction, x (H I). We use these distributions to place an upper limit of x (H I) < 0.88 at z = 10.6 at 95% confidence level. We compare our upper limit to different reionization history models, which include the recently identified enhancement at the bright end of the luminosity function at z > 8. We find that models in which faint galaxies have a higher escape fraction compared to bright galaxies are favored by the new data.

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  • CLASSY IV. Exploring UV Diagnostics of the Interstellar Medium in Local High-z Analogs at the Dawn of the JWST Era

    2022. Matilde Mingozzi (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 939 (2)


    The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) Legacy Archive Spectroscopic SurveY (CLASSY) provides the first high-resolution spectral catalog of 45 local high-z analogs in the ultraviolet (UV; 1200–2000 Å) to investigate their stellar and gas properties. Here we present a toolkit of UV interstellar medium (ISM) diagnostics, analyzing the main emission lines of CLASSY spectra (N iv] λλ1483,87, C iv λλ1548,51, He iiλ1640, O iii]λλ1661,6, Si iii] λλ1883,92, C iii] λ1907,9). Specifically, our aim is to provide accurate diagnostics for the reddening E(BV), electron density ne, electron temperature Te, metallicity 12+log(O/H), and ionization parameter log(U), taking the different ISM ionization zones into account. We calibrate our UV toolkit using well-known optical diagnostics, analyzing archival optical spectra for all CLASSY targets. We find that UV density diagnostics estimate ne values that are ∼1–2 dex higher (e.g., ne(C iii]λλ1907,9) ∼ 104 cm−3) than those inferred from their optical counterparts (e.g., ne([S ii]λλ6717,31) ∼ 102 cm−3; ne([Ar iv]λλ4714,41) ∼ 103 cm−3). Te derived from the hybrid ratio [O iii] λ1666/λ5007 proves to be reliable, implying differences in determining 12+log(O/H) compared to the optical counterpart O iii] λ4363/[O iii] λ5007 within ∼ ±0.3 dex. We also investigate the relation between the stellar and gas E(BV), finding consistent values at high specific star formation rates (sSFRs; log(sSFR)  ≳ -8 yr−1), while at low sSFRs we confirmed an excess of dust attenuation in the gas. Finally, we investigate UV line ratios and equivalent widths to provide correlations with 12+log(O/H) and log(U), but note that there are degeneracies between the two. With this suite of UV-based diagnostics, we illustrate the pivotal role CLASSY plays in understanding the chemical and physical properties of high-z systems that JWST can observe in the rest-frame UV.

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  • The far-ultraviolet continuum slope as a Lyman Continuum escape estimator at high redshift

    2022. J. Chisholm (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 517 (4), 5104-5120


    Most of the hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) was rapidly ionized at high redshifts. While observations have established that reionization occurred, observational constraints on the high-redshift ionizing emissivity remain elusive. Here, we present a new analysis of the Low-redshift Lyman Continuum Survey (LzLCS) and literature observations, a combined sample of 89 star-forming galaxies at redshifts near 0.3 with Hubble Space Telescope observations of their ionizing continua (or Lyman Continuum, LyC). We find a strong (6σ significant) inverse correlation between the continuum slope at 1550 Å (defined as Fλ ∝ λβ1550obs⁠) and both the LyC escape fraction (fesc, LyC) and fesc, LyC times the ionizing photon production efficiency (ξion). On average, galaxies with redder continuum slopes have smaller fesc, LyC than galaxies with bluer slopes mainly due to higher dust attenuation. More than 5 per cent (20 per cent) of the LyC emission escapes galaxies with β1550obs <−2.1 (−2.6). We find strong correlations between β1550obs and the [O III]/[O II] flux ratio (at 7.5σ significance), galaxy stellar mass (at 5.9σ), the gas-phase metallicity (at 4.6σ), and the observed far-ultraviolet absolute magnitude (at 3.4σ). Using previous observations of β1550obs at high redshift, we estimate the evolution of fesc, LyC with both redshift and galaxy magnitude. The LzLCS observations suggest that fainter and lower mass galaxies dominate the ionizing photon budget at higher redshift, possibly due to their rapidly evolving metal and dust content. Finally, we use our correlation between β1550obs and fesc, LyC × ξion to predict the ionizing emissivity of galaxies during the epoch of reionization. Our estimated emissivities match IGM observations, and suggest that star-forming galaxies emit sufficient LyC photons into the IGM to exceed recombinations near redshifts of 7–8.

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  • CLASSY. II. A Technical Overview of the COS Legacy Archive Spectroscopic Survey

    2022. Bethan L. James (et al.). Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 262 (2)


    The COS Legacy Archive Spectroscopic SurveY (CLASSY) is designed to provide the community with a spectral atlas of 45 nearby star-forming galaxies that were chosen to cover similar properties to those seen at high z (z > 6). The prime high-level science product of CLASSY is accurately coadded UV spectra, ranging from ∼1000 to 2000 Å, derived from a combination of archival and new data obtained with HST's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). This paper details the multistage technical processes of creating this prime data product and the methodologies involved in extracting, reducing, aligning, and coadding far-ultraviolet and near-ultraviolet (NUV) spectra. We provide guidelines on how to successfully utilize COS observations of extended sources, despite COS being optimized for point sources, and best-practice recommendations for the coaddition of UV spectra in general. Moreover, we discuss the effects of our reduction and coaddition techniques in the scientific application of the CLASSY data. In particular, we find that accurately accounting for flux calibration offsets can affect the derived properties of the stellar populations, while customized extractions of NUV spectra for extended sources are essential for correctly diagnosing the metallicity of galaxies via C iii] nebular emission. Despite changes in spectral resolution of up to ∼25% between individual data sets (due to changes in the COS line-spread function), no adverse affects were observed on the difference in velocity width and outflow velocities of isolated absorption lines when measured in the final combined data products, owing in part to our signal-to-noise regime of S/N < 20.

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  • The X-SHOOTER Lyman α survey at z = 2 (XLS-z2) I: what makes a galaxy a Lyman α emitter?

    2021. Jorryt Matthee (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 505 (1), 1382-1412


    We present the first results from the X-SHOOTER Lyman α survey at z = 2 (XLS-z2). XLS-z2 is a deep spectroscopic survey of 35 Lyman α emitters (LAEs) utilizing ≈90 h of exposure time with Very Large Telescope/X-SHOOTER and covers rest-frame Ly α to H α emission with R ≈ 4000. We present the sample selection, the observations, and the data reduction. Systemic redshifts are measured from rest-frame optical lines for 33/35 sources. In the stacked spectrum, our LAEs are characterized by an interstellar medium with little dust, a low metallicity, and a high ionization state. The ionizing sources are young hot stars that power strong emission lines in the optical and high-ionization lines in the ultraviolet (UV). The LAEs exhibit clumpy UV morphologies and have outflowing kinematics with blueshifted Si ii absorption, a broad [O iii] component, and a red-skewed Ly α line. Typically, 30 per cent of the Ly α photons escape, of which one quarter on the blue side of the systemic velocity. A fraction of Ly α photons escape directly at the systemic suggesting clear channels enabling an ≈10 per cent escape of ionizing photons, consistent with an inference based on Mg ii. A combination of a low effective H i column density, a low dust content, and young starburst determines whether a star-forming galaxy is observed as an LAE. The first is possibly related to outflows and/or a fortunate viewing angle, while we find that the latter two in LAEs are typical for their stellar mass of 109 M.

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  • Spectral Shapes of the Lyα Emission from Galaxies. I. Blueshifted Emission and Intrinsic Invariance with Redshift*

    2021. Matthew J. Hayes (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 908 (1), 1-17


    We demonstrate the redshift evolution of the spectral profile of H i Lyα emission from star-forming galaxies. In this first study we pay special attention to the contribution of blueshifted emission. At redshift z = 2.9–6.6, we compile spectra of a sample of 229 Lyα-selected galaxies identified with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer at the Very Large Telescope, while at low z ( < 0.44) we use a sample of 74 ultraviolet-selected galaxies observed with the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope. At low z, where absorption from the intergalactic medium (IGM) is negligible, we show that the ratio of Lyα luminosity blueward and redward of line center (LB/R) increases rapidly with increasing equivalent width (WLyα). This correlation does not, however, emerge at z = 3–4, and we use bootstrap simulations to demonstrate that trends in LB/R should be suppressed by variations in IGM absorption. Our main result is that the observed blueshifted contribution evolves rapidly downward with increasing redshift: LB/R ≈ 30% at z ≈ 0, but dropping to 15% at z ≈ 3, and to below 3% by z ≈ 6. Applying further simulations of the IGM absorption to the unabsorbed COS spectrum, we demonstrate that this decrease in the blue-wing contribution can be entirely attributed to the thickening of intervening Lyα absorbing systems, with no need for additional H i opacity from local structure, companion galaxies, or cosmic infall. We discuss our results in light of the numerical radiative transfer simulations, the evolving total Lyα and ionizing output of galaxies, and the utility of resolved Lyα spectra in the reionization epoch.

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