University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

School of Physics and Astronomy

Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics


Profile: Melanie Noble

My research with Dr. Scarlata seeks to further understand the central powering of Lyman-α nebulae. These so-called Lyman Alpha Blobs (LABs) are extended, luminous nebulae whose strong Lyα emission is not well understood. Answering this question is fundamental to our understanding of the nature and evolutionary status of these objects as well as their central galaxies. Scattering of Lyα photons by the neutral hydrogen can result in a net polarization in the Lyα emission. Furthermore, the resonant nature of Lyα allows the detection of associated stuctures near the emitting source. Thus spectro-polarimetry of the Lyα emission line provides a unique way to constrain the source of the emission as well as the kinematics and spatial structure of the surrounding regions.
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