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Linking gas and galaxies at high redshift: MUSE surveys the environments of six damped Lyα systems at z ≈ 3.

Mackenzie, Ruari and Fumagalli, Michele and Theuns, Tom and Hatton, David J. and Garel, Thibault and Cantalupo, Sebastiano and Christensen, Lise and Fynbo, Johan P. U. and Kanekar, Nissim and Møller, Palle and O’Meara, John and Prochaska, J. Xavier and Rafelski, Marc and Shanks, Tom and Trayford, James (2019) 'Linking gas and galaxies at high redshift: MUSE surveys the environments of six damped Lyα systems at z ≈ 3.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 487 (4). pp. 5070-5096.


We present results from a survey of galaxies in the elds of six z 3 Damped Lyman systems (DLAs) using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). We report a high detection rate of up to 80% of galaxies within 1000 km/s from DLAs and with impact parameters between 25 and 280 kpc. In particular, we discovered 5 high-condence Ly emitters associated with three DLAs, plus up to 9 additional detections across ve of the six elds. The majority of the detections are at relatively large impact parameters (> 50 kpc) with two detections being plausible host galaxies. Among our detections, we report four galaxies associated with the most metal-poor DLA in our sample (Z=Z = ????2:33 0:22), which trace an overdense structure resembling a lament. By comparing our detections with predictions from the Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments (EAGLE) cosmological simulations and a semi-analytic model designed to reproduce the observed bias of DLAs at z > 2, we conclude that our observations are consistent with a scenario in which a signicant fraction of DLAs trace the neutral regions within halos with a characteristic mass of Mh 1011 ???? 1012 M, in agreement with the inference made from the large-scale clustering of DLAs. We nally show how larger surveys targeting 25 absorbers have the potential of constraining the characteristic masses of halos hosting high-redshift DLAs with sucient accuracy to discriminate between dierent models.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Date accepted:09 May 2019
Date deposited:06 June 2019
Date of first online publication:04 June 2019
Date first made open access:No date available

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