Query : 2012A&A...540A..63N

2012A&A...540A..63N - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 540A, 63-63 (2012/4-1)

Discovery of a compact gas-rich damped Lyman-α galaxy at z=2.2: evidence of a starburst-driven outflow.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present the detection of Lyα, [OIII], and Hα emission associated with an extremely strong damped Lyman-α (DLA) system (N(HI)=1022.10cm–2) at z=2.207 towards the quasar SDSSJ113520.39-001053.56. This is the largest HI column density ever measured along a quasi-stellar object (QSO) line of sight, though typical of those often found in DLAs associated to gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). This absorption system can also be classified as an ultra-strong MgII system with Wrλ2796≃3.6Å. The mean metallicity of the gas ([Zn/H]=-1.1) and dust depletion factors ([Zn/Fe]=0.72, [Zn/Cr]=0.49) are consistent with (and only marginally larger than) the mean values found in the general QSO-DLA population. The [OIII]-Hα emitting region has a very small impact parameter with respect to the QSO line of sight, b≃0.1" (0.9kpc proper distance), and is unresolved. From the Hα line, we measure a significant star formation rate (SFR)≃25M/yr (uncorrected for dust). The shape of the Lyα line is double-peaked, which is the signature of a resonant scattering of Lyα photons, and the Lyα emission is spatially extended. More strikingly, the blue and red Lyα peaks arise from distinct regions extended over a few kpc on either side of the star-forming region. We propose that this is the consequence of a Lyα transfer in outflowing gas. The presence of starburst-driven outflows is also in agreement with the high SFR together with the small size and low mass of the galaxy (Mvir∼1010M). By placing constraints on the stellar UV continuum luminosity of the galaxy, we estimate an age of at most a few 107yr, again consistent with a recent starburst scenario. We interpret these data as the observation of a young, gas-rich, compact starburst galaxy, from which material is expelled through collimated winds powered by the vigorous star formation activity. We substantiate this picture by modelling the radiative transfer of Lyα photons in the galactic counterpart. Though our model (a spherical galaxy with bipolar outflowing jets) is a simplistic representation of the true gas distribution and velocity field, the agreement between the observed and simulated properties is particularly good (spectral shape and width of the Lyman-α emission, spatial configuration, escape fraction as well as absorption kinematics, HI column density, and dust reddening). Finally, we propose that selecting DLAs with very high HI column densities may be an efficient way of detecting star-forming galaxies at small impact parameters from the background QSO lines of sight.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): galaxies: ISM - galaxies: high-redshift - galaxies: star formation - quasars: individual: SDSS J113520.39-001053.56 - quasars: absorption lines

Nomenclature: [NLP2012] SDSS J113520.39-001053.5 abs 2.207 N=1.

Simbad objects: 6

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Number of rows : 6
N Identifier Otype ICRS (J2000)
ICRS (J2000)
Mag U Mag B Mag V Mag R Mag I Sp type #ref
1850 - 2024
1 QSO B0027-1836 QSO 00 30 23.6259434280 -18 19 56.117225244   18.2 17.9     ~ 52 0
2 NAME SMC G 00 52 38.0 -72 48 01   2.79 2.2     ~ 10928 1
3 SDSS J081634.38+144612.4 QSO 08 16 34.3904979384 +14 46 12.491066712   21.91 20.39     ~ 43 0
4 QSO J0918+1636 QSO 09 18 26.1655113600 +16 36 09.045201564   21.19 20.58     ~ 49 0
5 SDSS J113520.39-001053.5 QSO 11 35 20.3944527984 -00 10 53.572769436   19.36       ~ 49 0
6 QSO J2222-0946 QSO 22 22 56.1132566016 -09 46 36.283906272   18.71 18.34     ~ 77 0

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