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Title: THE FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF LOW-REDSHIFT DAMPED Ly{alpha} SYSTEMS WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH

Abstract

We report on the first Cosmic Origins Spectrograph observations of damped Ly{alpha} systems (DLAs) and sub-damped Ly{alpha} systems (sub-DLAs) discovered in a new survey of the gaseous halos of low-redshift galaxies. From observations of 37 sightlines, we have discovered three DLAs and four sub-DLAs. We measure the neutral gas density {Omega}{sub HI}, and redshift density d N/d z, of DLA and sub-DLA systems at z < 0.35. We find d N/dz = 0.25{sup +0.24}-{sub 0.14} and {Omega}{sub HI} = 1.4{sup +1.3}{sub -0.7} x 10{sup -3} for DLAs, and d N/d z = 0.08{sup +0.19}{sub -0.06} with {Omega}{sub HI} = 4.2{sup +9.6}{sub -3.5} x 10{sup -5} for sub-DLAs over a redshift path {Delta}z = 11.9. To demonstrate the scientific potential of such systems, we present a detailed analysis of the DLA at z{sub abs} = 0.1140 in the spectrum of SDSS J1009+0713. Profile fits to the absorption lines determine log N(H I) = 20.68 {+-} 0.10 with a metallicity determined from the undepleted element sulfur of [S/H] = -0.62 {+-} 0.18. The abundance pattern of this DLA is similar to that of higher z DLAs, showing mild depletion of the refractory elements Fe and Ti with [S/Fe] = +0.24 {+-} 0.22more » and [S/Ti] = +0.28 {+-} 0.15. Nitrogen is underabundant in this system with [N/H] = -1.40 {+-} 0.14, placing this DLA below the plateau of the [N/{alpha}] measurements in the local universe at similar metallicities. This DLA has a simple kinematic structure with only two components required to fit the profiles and a kinematic width of {Delta}v{sub 90} = 52 km s{sup -1}. Imaging of the QSO field with the Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 reveals a spiral galaxy at very small impact parameter to the QSO and several galaxies within 10'', or 20 comoving kpc at the redshift of the DLA. Follow-up spectra with the Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on the Keck telescope reveal that none of the nearby galaxies are at the redshift of the DLA. The spiral galaxy is identified as the host galaxy of the QSO based on the near perfect alignment of the nucleus and disk of the galaxy as well as spectra of an H II region showing emission lines at the QSO redshift. A small feature appears 0.''70 from the nucleus of the QSO after point-spread function subtraction, providing another candidate for the host galaxy of the DLA system. Even with these supporting data, we are unable to unambiguously identify the host galaxy of the DLA, exemplifying some of the difficulties in determining DLA hosts even at low redshift.« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ;  [2]; ; ;  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)
  2. University of California Observatories-Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  3. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  4. Princeton University Observatory, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)
  5. Department of Chemistry and Physics, St. Michaels College, One Winooski Park, Colchester, VT 05439 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21574634
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 732; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/35
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; DENSITY; EMISSION; GALAXIES; QUASARS; RED SHIFT; COSMIC RADIO SOURCES; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; SORPTION

Citation Formats

Meiring, J. D., Tripp, T. M., Prochaska, J. X., Werk, J., Tumlinson, J., Thom, C., Sembach, K. R., Jenkins, E. B., and O'Meara, J. M. THE FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF LOW-REDSHIFT DAMPED Ly{alpha} SYSTEMS WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/35.
Meiring, J. D., Tripp, T. M., Prochaska, J. X., Werk, J., Tumlinson, J., Thom, C., Sembach, K. R., Jenkins, E. B., & O'Meara, J. M. THE FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF LOW-REDSHIFT DAMPED Ly{alpha} SYSTEMS WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/35.
Meiring, J. D., Tripp, T. M., Prochaska, J. X., Werk, J., Tumlinson, J., Thom, C., Sembach, K. R., Jenkins, E. B., and O'Meara, J. M. Sun . "THE FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF LOW-REDSHIFT DAMPED Ly{alpha} SYSTEMS WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/35.
@article{osti_21574634,
title = {THE FIRST OBSERVATIONS OF LOW-REDSHIFT DAMPED Ly{alpha} SYSTEMS WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH},
author = {Meiring, J. D. and Tripp, T. M. and Prochaska, J. X. and Werk, J. and Tumlinson, J. and Thom, C. and Sembach, K. R. and Jenkins, E. B. and O'Meara, J. M.},
abstractNote = {We report on the first Cosmic Origins Spectrograph observations of damped Ly{alpha} systems (DLAs) and sub-damped Ly{alpha} systems (sub-DLAs) discovered in a new survey of the gaseous halos of low-redshift galaxies. From observations of 37 sightlines, we have discovered three DLAs and four sub-DLAs. We measure the neutral gas density {Omega}{sub HI}, and redshift density d N/d z, of DLA and sub-DLA systems at z < 0.35. We find d N/dz = 0.25{sup +0.24}-{sub 0.14} and {Omega}{sub HI} = 1.4{sup +1.3}{sub -0.7} x 10{sup -3} for DLAs, and d N/d z = 0.08{sup +0.19}{sub -0.06} with {Omega}{sub HI} = 4.2{sup +9.6}{sub -3.5} x 10{sup -5} for sub-DLAs over a redshift path {Delta}z = 11.9. To demonstrate the scientific potential of such systems, we present a detailed analysis of the DLA at z{sub abs} = 0.1140 in the spectrum of SDSS J1009+0713. Profile fits to the absorption lines determine log N(H I) = 20.68 {+-} 0.10 with a metallicity determined from the undepleted element sulfur of [S/H] = -0.62 {+-} 0.18. The abundance pattern of this DLA is similar to that of higher z DLAs, showing mild depletion of the refractory elements Fe and Ti with [S/Fe] = +0.24 {+-} 0.22 and [S/Ti] = +0.28 {+-} 0.15. Nitrogen is underabundant in this system with [N/H] = -1.40 {+-} 0.14, placing this DLA below the plateau of the [N/{alpha}] measurements in the local universe at similar metallicities. This DLA has a simple kinematic structure with only two components required to fit the profiles and a kinematic width of {Delta}v{sub 90} = 52 km s{sup -1}. Imaging of the QSO field with the Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 reveals a spiral galaxy at very small impact parameter to the QSO and several galaxies within 10'', or 20 comoving kpc at the redshift of the DLA. Follow-up spectra with the Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on the Keck telescope reveal that none of the nearby galaxies are at the redshift of the DLA. The spiral galaxy is identified as the host galaxy of the QSO based on the near perfect alignment of the nucleus and disk of the galaxy as well as spectra of an H II region showing emission lines at the QSO redshift. A small feature appears 0.''70 from the nucleus of the QSO after point-spread function subtraction, providing another candidate for the host galaxy of the DLA system. Even with these supporting data, we are unable to unambiguously identify the host galaxy of the DLA, exemplifying some of the difficulties in determining DLA hosts even at low redshift.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/732/1/35},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 732,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2011},
month = {Sun May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2011}
}