Foreground contamination in Lyα intensity mapping during the epoch of reoinization
Santos, Mario, G.
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The intensity mapping of Lyα emission during the epoch of reionization will be contaminated by foreground emission lines from lower redshifts. We calculate the mean intensity and the power spectrum of Lyα emission at z ∼ 7 and estimate the uncertainties according to the relevant astrophysical processes. We find that the low-redshift emission lines from 6563 Å Hα, 5007 Å [O iii], and 3727 Å [O ii] will be strong contaminants on the observed Lyα power spectrum. We make use of both the star formation rate and luminosity functions to estimate the mean intensity and power spectra of the three foreground lines at z ∼ 0.5 for Hα, z ∼ 0.9 for [O iii], and z ∼ 1.6 for [O ii], as they will contaminate the Lyα emission at z ∼ 7. The [O ii] line is found to be the strongest. We analyze the masking of the bright survey pixels with a foreground line above some line intensity threshold as a way to reduce the contamination in an intensity mapping survey. We find that the foreground contamination can be neglected if we remove pixels with fluxes above 1.4 × 10−20 W m−2