Probing the Circumgalactic Medium at High-Redshift Using Composite BOSS Spectra of Strong Lyman-alpha Forest Absorbers

Дата и время публикации : 2013-09-26T09:24:40Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Matthew M. Pieri
Michael J. Mortonson
Stephan Frank
Neil Crighton
David H. Weinberg
Khee-Gan Lee
Pasquier Noterdaeme
Stephen J. Bailey
Nicolas Busca
Jian Ge
David Kirkby
Britt Lundgren
Smita Mathur
Isabelle Paris
Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille
Patrick Petitjean
James Rich
Nicholas P. Ross
Donald P. Schneider
Donald G. York

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 21 pages, 14 figures, 5 tables, link to downloadable data included. Submitted to MNRAS
Первичная категория: astro-ph.CO

Все категории : astro-ph.CO

Краткий обзор статьи: We present composite spectra constructed from a sample of 242,150 Lyman-alpha (Lya) forest absorbers at redshifts 2.4<z<3.1 identified in quasar spectra from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) as part of Data Release 9 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III. We select forest absorbers by their flux in bins 138 km/s wide (approximately the size of the BOSS resolution element). We split these absorbers into five samples spanning the range of flux -0.05 < F<0.45. Tests on a smaller sample of high-resolution spectra show that our three strongest absorption bins would probe circumgalactic regions (projected separation < 300 proper kpc and |Delta v| < 300km/s) in about 60% of cases for very high signal-to-noise ratio. Within this subset, weakening Lya absorption is associated with decreasing purity of circumgalactic selection once BOSS noise is included. Our weaker two Lya absorption samples are dominated by the intergalactic medium. We present composite spectra of these samples and a catalogue of measured absorption features from HI and 13 metal ionization species, all of which we make available to the community. We compare measurements of seven Lyman series transitions in our composite spectra to single line models and obtain further constraints from their associated excess Lyman limit opacity. This analysis provides results consistent with column densities over the range 14.4 <~ Log (N_HI) <~ 16.45. We compare our measurements of metal absorption to a variety of simple single-line, single-phase models for a preliminary interpretation. Our results imply clumping on scales down to ~30 pc and near-solar metallicities in the circumgalactic samples, while high-ionization metal absorption consistent with typical IGM densities and metallicities is visible in all samples.

Category: Physics