On the minimum mass of reionization sources

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Choudhury, T. Roy
Ferrara, A.
Gallerani, S.
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Abstract
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By means of carefully calibrated semi-analytical reionization models, we estimate the minimum mass of star-forming haloes required to match the current data. Models which do not include haloes of total mass M < 10^9 M_sun fail at reproducing the Gunn-Peterson and electron scattering optical depths simultaneously, as they contribute too few (many) photons at high (low, z \approx 6) redshift. Marginally acceptable solutions require haloes with M \approx 5 \times 10^7 M_sun at z \approx 10, corresponding to virial temperatures (\sim 10^4K) for which cooling can be ensured by atomic transitions. However, a much better match to the data is obtained if minihaloes (M \sim 10^6 M_sun) are included in the analysis. We have critically examined the assumptions made in our model and conclude that reionization in the large-galaxies-only scenario can remain viable only if metal-free stars and/or some other exotic sources at z > 6 are included.
Comment: 6 pages, 2 figures
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Astrophysics
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