James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 7/9/2024

Harvard ADS: The leakage of Lyman-continuum photons from a major merger at z\sim1

Paper abstract: We report the detection of Lyman-continuum (LyC) photons from a massive interacting system at z=1.097 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The LyC detection is made in the far-ultraviolet F154W band of the UVIT telescope onboard AstroSat. Both JWST and HST imaging of the system reveal signs that it is a likely merger. In particular, high-resolution imaging in the JWST bands reveals an infrared luminous object within the system that is faint in the bluer HST bands. The ionized-gas kinematics from the MUSE-UDF data supports the merger hypothesis. We estimate that the entire system is leaking more than 8 \% of its ionizing photons to the intergalactic medium. The SED-derived stellar masses of the two components indicate that this is a major merger with a mass ratio of {1.13 \pm 0.37}. This detection hints at the potential contribution of massive interacting systems at higher redshifts, when major mergers were more frequent, to the ionizing budget of the universe.