Nebular-line emission during the Epoch of Reionization

S. M. Wilkins, C. C. Lovell, C. Fairhurst, Y. Feng, T. Di Matteo, R. Croft, J. Kuusisto, A. P. Vijayan, P. Thomas

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Nebular emission lines associated with galactic H II regions carry information about both physical properties of the ionized gas and the source of ionizing photons as well as providing the opportunity of measuring accurate redshifts and thus distances once a cosmological model is assumed. While nebular-line emission has been extensively studied at lower redshift there are currently only few constraints within the epoch of reionization (EoR; z > 6), chiefly due to the lack of sensitive near-IR spectrographs. However, this will soon change with the arrival of the Webb Telescope providing sensitive near-IR spectroscopy covering the rest-frame UV and optical emission of galaxies in the EoR. In anticipation of Webb, we combine the large cosmological hydrodynamical simulation BlueTides with photoionization modelling to predict the nebular emission-line properties of galaxies at z = 8 → 13. We find good agreement with the, albeit limited, existing direct and indirect observational constraints on equivalent widths though poorer agreement with luminosity function constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6079-6094
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date19 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Methods: numerical

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