AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 32. Galaxy Evolution and Surveys: ``Far Away"
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 608-609

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[32.05D] Detailed Astrophysical Properties of Lyman Break Galaxies

A. E. Shapley, C. C. Steidel (California Institute of Technology), K. L. Adelberger (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), M. Pettini (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge)

We present new results about z~3 Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs) and their impact on the intergalactic medium (IGM). We place particular emphasis on what can be learned from LBG rest-frame UV spectra. Previously, the spectra of LBGs have been used primarily as redshift indicators for the purpose of describing large-scale properties such as clustering and luminosity functions. However, our knowledge of LBG UV spectral properties is now advancing along two complementary fronts. First, by using very high-quality spectra of a small sample of exceptionally bright objects, we derive detailed information about their interstellar abundance patterns, outflow kinematics and geometry. Second, by drawing from our database of ~1000 spectra, and constructing higher S/N composite spectra from galaxies grouped according to properties such as Lyman-alpha profile, kinematics, luminosity, and extinction, we show how the rest-frame UV spectroscopic properties systematically depend on other galaxy parameters. One of the basic properties indicated by LBG UV spectra is the large-scale outflow of interstellar material accelerated by the mechanical energy input from supernovae explosions. By comparing the large-scale distributions of LBGs, and intergalactic HI and metals, we show how these outflows may have a profound influence on the state of the IGM at z~3.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.