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Title: DISCOVERY OF THE TRANSITION OF A MINI-BROAD ABSORPTION LINE INTO A BROAD ABSORPTION LINE IN THE SDSS QUASAR J115122.14+020426.3

We present the detection of a rare case of dramatic strengthening in the UV absorption profiles in the spectrum of the quasar J115122.14+020426.3 between observations {approx}2.86 yr apart in the quasar rest frame. A spectrum obtained in 2001 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey shows a C IV ''mini-broad'' absorption line (FWHM = 1220 km s{sup -1}) with a maximum blueshift velocity of {approx}9520 km s{sup -1}, while a later spectrum from the Very Large Telescope shows a significantly broader and stronger absorption line, with a maximum blueshift velocity of {approx}12, 240 km s{sup -1} that qualifies as a broad absorption line. A similar variability pattern is observed in two additional systems at lower blueshifted velocities and in the Ly{alpha} and N V transitions as well. One of the absorption systems appears to be resolved and shows evidence for partial covering of the quasar continuum source (C{sub f} {approx} 0.65), indicating a transverse absorber size of, at least, {approx}6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} cm. In contrast, a cluster of narrower C IV lines appears to originate in gas that fully covers the continuum and broad emission line sources. There is no evidence for changes in the centroid velocity of the absorptionmore » troughs. This case suggests that at least some of the absorbers that produce ''mini-broad'' and broad absorption lines in quasar spectra do not belong to intrinsically separate classes. Here, the ''mini-broad'' absorption line is most likely interpreted as an intermediate phase before the appearance of a broad absorption line due to their similar velocities. While the current observations do not provide enough constraints to discern among the possible causes for this variability, future monitoring of multiple transitions at high resolution will help achieve this goal.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
  3. Center for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 (Australia)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, 430 Portola Plaza, Box 951547, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22133837
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 775; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; GALAXIES; LIMITING VALUES; QUASARS; RADIATION DETECTION; RESOLUTION; TELESCOPES; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; VELOCITY