A keck/deimos spectroscopy of lyα blobs at redshift z = 3.1

Yuichi Matsuda, Toru Yamada, Tomoki Hayashino, Rvosuke Yamauchi, Yuki Nakamura

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64 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of intermediate-resolution (∼2 Å) spectroscopy of a sample of 37 candidate Lyα blobs and emitters at redshift z = 3.1 using the DEIMOS spectrograph on the 10 m Keck telescope. The emission lines are detected for all 37 objects and show variety in their line profiles. The Lyα velocity widths (FWHM) of the 28 objects with higher quality spectra, measured by fitting a single Gaussian profile, are in the range of 150-1700 km s-1 and correlate with the Lyα spatial extents. All 12 Lyα blobs (≥16 arcsec2) have large velocity widths of ≳500 km s-1. While there are several possible physical interpretations of the Lyα velocity widths (the motion of gravitationally bound gas clouds, inflows, the merging of clumps, or outflows from superwinds), the large velocity widths of the Lyα blobs suggest that they are the sites of massive galaxy formation. If we assume gravitationally bound gas clouds, the dynamical masses of the Lyα blobs are estimated to be ∼10 12-1013 M. Even for the case of outflows, the outflow velocities are likely to be comparable to the rotation velocities as inferred from the observational evidence for local starburst galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L123-L126
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Apr 1


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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