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Searching for Carbon III and Lyman-A in High Redshift Galaxies at z~2-4

Students from Banbridge Academy (Northern Ireland) and Mark Cunningham

This project was themed around the Epoch of Reionisation, an era in the early universe's history that saw a phase change from ionised to completely neutral. Many unanswered questions surround the epoch, which were explored in this project, such as: what was the main driving force behind reionisation? Can we use Carbon III] as a tracer for redshift during the Epoch of Reionisation era? How common is Carbon III] in these galaxies?

Using the VANDELS dataset, students identified specific emission lines in a sample of high redshift galaxies (z ~ 2-4). Students used galaxies in this redshift range as analogues for galaxies in the Epoch of Reionisation era. Using computer programs and applications, students looked at the emission spectra from the objects and analysed the light they saw. By looking at prominent lines such as Lyman-alpha and Carbon III] (CIII]), students calculated different properties such as the strengths of these lines to infer things such as the ionising power that galaxies in the Epoch of Reionisation era may have!

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