Metals and a search for molecules in the distant Universe: Magellan mike observations of sub-DLAs at 2 < z < 3
ABSTRACT We present abundance measurements of the elements Zn, S, O, C, Si, and Fe for four sub-DLAs at redshifts ranging from z = 2.173 to 2.635 using observations from the MIKE spectrograph on the Magellan telescope to constrain the chemical enrichment and star formation of gas-rich galaxies. Using weakly depleted elements O, S, and or Zn, we find the metallicities after the photoionization corrections to be [S/H] = −0.50 ± 0.11, [O/H] > −0.84, [O/H] = −1.27 ± 0.12, and [Zn/H]  = +0.40 ± 0.12 for the absorbers at z  = 2.173, 2.236, 2.539, and 2.635, respectively. Moreover, we are able to put constraints on the electron densities using the fine structure lines of C ii⋆ and Si ii⋆ for two of the sub-DLAs. We find that these values are much higher than the median values found in DLAs in the literature. Furthermore, we estimate the cooling rate lc = 1.20 × 10−26 erg s−1 per H atom for an absorber at z = 2.173, suggesting higher star formation rate density in this sub-DLA than the typical star formation rate density for DLAs at similar redshifts. We also study the metallicity versus velocity dispersion relation for our absorbers. Most of the absorbers follow the trend one can expect from the mass versus metallicity more »
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Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10290944
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
504
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
731 to 743
ISSN:
0035-8711
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We examine the properties of damped Lyman-α absorbers (DLAs) emerging from a single set of cosmological initial conditions in two state-of-the-art cosmological hydrodynamic simulations: simba and technicolor dawn. The former includes star formation and black hole feedback treatments that yield a good match with low-redshift galaxy properties, while the latter uses multifrequency radiative transfer to model an inhomogeneous ultraviolet background (UVB) self-consistently and is calibrated to match the Thomson scattering optical depth, UVB amplitude, and Ly α forest mean transmission at z > 5. Both simulations are in reasonable agreement with the measured stellar mass and star formation rate functions at z ≥ 3, and both reproduce the observed neutral hydrogen cosmological mass density, $\Omega _{\rm H\, \small{I}}(z)$. However, the DLA abundance and metallicity distribution are sensitive to the galactic outflows’ feedback and the UVB amplitude. Adopting a strong UVB and/or slow outflows underproduces the observed DLA abundance, but yields broad agreement with the observed DLA metallicity distribution. By contrast, faster outflows eject metals to larger distances, yielding more metal-rich DLAs whose observational selection may be more sensitive to dust bias. The DLA metallicity distribution in models adopting an H2-regulated star formation recipe includes a tail extending to [M/H] ≪ −3, lower than anymore »