The source of leaking ionizing photons from Haro11 -- Clues from HST/COS spectroscopy of knots A, B and C
Understanding the escape of ionizing (Lyman continuum) photons from galaxies is vital for determining how galaxies contributed to reionization in the early universe. While directly detecting Lyman continuum from high redshift galaxies is impossible due to the intergalactic medium, low redshift galaxies in principle offer this possibility, but requirie observations from space. The first local galaxy for which Lyman continuum escape was found is Haro11 , a luminous blue compact galaxy at z=0.02, where observations with the FUSE satellite revealed an escape fraction of 3.3 %. However the FUSE aperture covers the entire galaxy, and it is not clear from where the Lyman continuum is leaking out. Here we utilize HST/COS spectroscopy in the wavelength range 1100-1700 A of the three knots (A, B, and C) of Haro11 to study the presence of Ly-$\alpha$ emission and the properties of intervening gas. We find that all knots have bright Ly-$\alpha$ emission. UV absorption lines, originating in the neutral interstellar medium, as well as lines probing the ionized medium, are seen extending to blue shifted velocities of 500 km/s in all three knots, demonstrating the presence of an outflowing multiphase medium. We find that knots A and B have large covering fractions of neutral gas, making LyC escape along these sightlines improbable, while knot C has a much lower covering fraction ($\lesssim50$%). Knot C also has the the highest Ly-$\alpha$ escape fraction and we conclude that it is the most likely source of the escaping Lyman continuum detected in Haro11.