We use hydrodynamic simulations post-processed with the radiative-transfer code RADAMESH to assess recent claims that the low He II opacity observed in z > 3 quasar spectra may be incompatible with models of He II reionization driven by the observed population of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). In particular, building upon our previous work, we consider an early population of sources and start the radiative-transfer calculation at redshifts z ≥ 5. Our model faithfully reproduces the emissivity of optically selected AGNs as inferred from measurements of their luminosity function.We find that He II reionization is very extended in redshift (Δz≥2) and highly spatially inhomogeneous. In fact, mock spectra extracted from the simulations show a large variability in the evolution of the He II effective optical depth within chunks of size Δz = 0.04. Regions with low opacity (τ effHe II < 3) can be found at high redshift, in agreement with the most recent observations of UV-transmitting quasars. At the highest redshift currently probed by observations (z ~ 3.4), our updated model predicts a much lower He II effective optical depth than previous simulations in the literature relieving most of the tension with the current data, that, however, still persists at about the (Gaussian) 1σ to 2σ level. Given the very small number of observed lines of sight, our analysis indicates that current data cannot rule out a purely AGN-driven scenario with high statistical significance.

Compostella, M., Cantalupo, S., & Porciani, C. (2014). AGN-driven helium reionization and the incidence of extended He III regions at redshift z > 3. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 445(4), 4186-4196 [10.1093/mnras/stu2035].

AGN-driven helium reionization and the incidence of extended He III regions at redshift z > 3

Cantalupo S.;
2014

Abstract

We use hydrodynamic simulations post-processed with the radiative-transfer code RADAMESH to assess recent claims that the low He II opacity observed in z > 3 quasar spectra may be incompatible with models of He II reionization driven by the observed population of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). In particular, building upon our previous work, we consider an early population of sources and start the radiative-transfer calculation at redshifts z ≥ 5. Our model faithfully reproduces the emissivity of optically selected AGNs as inferred from measurements of their luminosity function.We find that He II reionization is very extended in redshift (Δz≥2) and highly spatially inhomogeneous. In fact, mock spectra extracted from the simulations show a large variability in the evolution of the He II effective optical depth within chunks of size Δz = 0.04. Regions with low opacity (τ effHe II < 3) can be found at high redshift, in agreement with the most recent observations of UV-transmitting quasars. At the highest redshift currently probed by observations (z ~ 3.4), our updated model predicts a much lower He II effective optical depth than previous simulations in the literature relieving most of the tension with the current data, that, however, still persists at about the (Gaussian) 1σ to 2σ level. Given the very small number of observed lines of sight, our analysis indicates that current data cannot rule out a purely AGN-driven scenario with high statistical significance.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
Cosmology: theory; Intergalactic medium; Large-scale structure of Universe; Quasars: general; Radiative transfer;
English
Compostella, M., Cantalupo, S., & Porciani, C. (2014). AGN-driven helium reionization and the incidence of extended He III regions at redshift z > 3. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 445(4), 4186-4196 [10.1093/mnras/stu2035].
Compostella, M; Cantalupo, S; Porciani, C
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/372642
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