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Title: The effect of dust bias on the census of neutral gas and metals in the high-redshift Universe due to SDSS-II quasar colour selection

Abstract

ABSTRACT We present a systematic study of the impact of a dust bias on samples of damped Ly α absorbers (DLAs). This bias arises as an effect of the magnitude and colour criteria utilized in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar target selection up until data release 7 (DR7). The bias has previously been quantified assuming only a contribution from the dust obscuration. In this work, we apply the full set of magnitude and colour criteria used up until SDSS-DR7 in order to quantify the full impact of dust biasing against dusty and metal-rich DLAs. We apply the quasar target selection algorithm on a modelled population of intrinsic colours, and by exploring the parameter space consisting of redshift, ($$z_{\rm{\small QSO}}$$and zabs), optical extinction, and H i column density, we demonstrate how the selection probability depends on these variables. We quantify the dust bias on the following properties derived for DLAs at z ≈ 3: the incidence rate, the mass density of neutral hydrogen and metals, and the average metallicity. We find that all quantities are significantly affected. When considering all uncertainties, the mass density of neutral hydrogen is underestimated by 10–50 per cent, and the mass density in metals is underestimated by 30–200 per cent. Lastly, we find that the bias depends on redshift. At redshift z = 2.2, the mass density of neutral hydrogen and metals might be underestimated by up to a factor of 2 and 5, respectively. Characterizing such a bias is crucial in order to accurately interpret and model the properties and metallicity evolution of absorption-selected galaxies.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]
  1. Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS-SU, UMR7095, 98bis bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
  2. Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark, The Cosmic Dawn Center, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
  3. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschildstrasse 2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany
  4. The Cosmic Dawn Center, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark, Centre for Astrophysics and Cosmology, Science Institute, University of Iceland, Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavík, Iceland
  5. Institute of Astronomy, Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1511102
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journal Volume: 486 Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Krogager, Jens-Kristian, Fynbo, Johan P. U., Møller, Palle, Noterdaeme, Pasquier, Heintz, Kasper E., and Pettini, Max. The effect of dust bias on the census of neutral gas and metals in the high-redshift Universe due to SDSS-II quasar colour selection. United Kingdom: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz1120.
Krogager, Jens-Kristian, Fynbo, Johan P. U., Møller, Palle, Noterdaeme, Pasquier, Heintz, Kasper E., & Pettini, Max. The effect of dust bias on the census of neutral gas and metals in the high-redshift Universe due to SDSS-II quasar colour selection. United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz1120.
Krogager, Jens-Kristian, Fynbo, Johan P. U., Møller, Palle, Noterdaeme, Pasquier, Heintz, Kasper E., and Pettini, Max. Sat . "The effect of dust bias on the census of neutral gas and metals in the high-redshift Universe due to SDSS-II quasar colour selection". United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz1120.
@article{osti_1511102,
title = {The effect of dust bias on the census of neutral gas and metals in the high-redshift Universe due to SDSS-II quasar colour selection},
author = {Krogager, Jens-Kristian and Fynbo, Johan P. U. and Møller, Palle and Noterdaeme, Pasquier and Heintz, Kasper E. and Pettini, Max},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT We present a systematic study of the impact of a dust bias on samples of damped Ly α absorbers (DLAs). This bias arises as an effect of the magnitude and colour criteria utilized in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar target selection up until data release 7 (DR7). The bias has previously been quantified assuming only a contribution from the dust obscuration. In this work, we apply the full set of magnitude and colour criteria used up until SDSS-DR7 in order to quantify the full impact of dust biasing against dusty and metal-rich DLAs. We apply the quasar target selection algorithm on a modelled population of intrinsic colours, and by exploring the parameter space consisting of redshift, ($z_{\rm{\small QSO}}$and zabs), optical extinction, and H i column density, we demonstrate how the selection probability depends on these variables. We quantify the dust bias on the following properties derived for DLAs at z ≈ 3: the incidence rate, the mass density of neutral hydrogen and metals, and the average metallicity. We find that all quantities are significantly affected. When considering all uncertainties, the mass density of neutral hydrogen is underestimated by 10–50 per cent, and the mass density in metals is underestimated by 30–200 per cent. Lastly, we find that the bias depends on redshift. At redshift z = 2.2, the mass density of neutral hydrogen and metals might be underestimated by up to a factor of 2 and 5, respectively. Characterizing such a bias is crucial in order to accurately interpret and model the properties and metallicity evolution of absorption-selected galaxies.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/stz1120},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 3,
volume = 486,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1120

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