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Lyman Continuum Leakage in the Local Universe

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Star-forming galaxies are viable candidates for providing the ionizing photon supply accounting for the reionization of the early universe. However, direct determination of the fraction of ionizing photons that can escape the optically thick galaxy ISM is challenging. I will discuss Lyman continuum observations obtained in nearby galaxies which take advantage of a new capability of HST ’s Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. The derived photon leakages are compared to values found at high redshift and discussed in the context of cosmological models.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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