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Pair lines of sight observations of multiphase gas bearing O vi in a galaxy environment

Anshul, Pratyush and Narayanan, Anand and Muzahid, Sowgat and Beckett, Alexander and Morris, Simon L (2021) 'Pair lines of sight observations of multiphase gas bearing O vi in a galaxy environment.', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 503 (3). pp. 3243-3261.

Abstract

Using HST/COS spectra of the twin quasar lines of sight Q 0107–025A & Q 0107–025B, we report on the physical properties, chemical abundances, and transverse sizes of a multiphase medium in a galaxy field at z = 0.399. The angular separation between the quasars corresponds to a physical separation of 520 kpc at the absorber redshift. The absorber towards Q 0107–025B is a partial Lyman limit system (pLLS) with logN(HI)/cm−2≈16.8⁠. The H I column density in the absorber along the other sightline is ≈ 2 orders of magnitude lower. The O VI along both sightlines have comparable column densities and broad b-values (b > 30 km s−1) whereas the low ionization lines are considerably narrower. The low ionization gas is inconsistent with the O VI when modelled assuming photoionization from the same phase. In both lines of sight, O VI and the broad H I coinciding, are best explained through collisional ionization in a cooling plasma with solar metallicity. Ionization models infer 1/10th solar metallicity for the pLLS and solar metallicity for the lower column density absorber along the other sightline. Within ± 250 km s−1 and 2 Mpc of projected distance from the sightlines 12 galaxies are identified, of which five are within 500 kpc. The twin sightlines are at normalized impact parameters of ρ ∼ 1.1Rvir, and ρ ∼ 0.8Rvir from a M* ∼ 1010.7 M⊙, L ∼ 0.07L*, and star formation rate (SFR) < 0.1 M⊙ yr−1 galaxy, potentially probing its CGM (circumgalactic medium). The next closest in normalized separation are a dwarf galaxy with M* ∼ 108.7 M⊙, and SFR ∼ 0.06 M⊙ yr−1, and an intermediate mass galaxy with M* ∼ 1010.0 M⊙, and SFR ∼ 3 M⊙ yr−1. Along both sightlines, O VI could be either tracing narrow transition temperature zones at the interface of low ionization gas and the hot halo of nearest galaxy, or a more spread-out warm component that could be gas bound to the circumgalactic halo or the intragroup medium. The latter scenarios lead to a warm gas mass limit of M ≳ 4.5 × 109 M⊙.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab396
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:02 February 2021
Date deposited:23 August 2021
Date of first online publication:13 February 2021
Date first made open access:23 August 2021

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