A possible signature of primordial stellar populations in z = 3 Lyman α emitters

Akio K. Inoue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Observations with Subaru telescope have detected surprisingly strong Lyman continuum (LyC; ∼ 900 Å in the rest-frame) from some Lyman α emitters (LAEs) at z = 3.1. We have examined the stellar population which simultaneously accounts for the strength of the LyC and the spectral slope of non-ionizing ultraviolet of the LAEs. As a result, we have found that stellar populations with metallicity Z ≥ 1/50 Z can explain the observed LyC strength only with a very top-heavy initial mass function (IMF; 〈m〉 ∼ 50M). However, the critical metallicity for such an IMF is expected to be much lower. A very young (∼ 1 Myr) and massive (∼ 100 M) extremely metal-poor (Z≤5× 10-4Z) or metal-free (so-called Population III) stellar population can also reproduce the observed LyC strength if the mass fraction of such 'primordial' stellar population is ∼ 1% in total stellar mass of the LAEs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFirst Stars IV - From Hayashi to the Future -
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event1st Stars IV: From Hayashi to the Future - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 2012 May 212012 May 25

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference1st Stars IV: From Hayashi to the Future


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • intergalactic medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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