Origin of Weak Mg ii and Higher-ionization Absorption Lines in Outflows from Intermediate-redshift Dwarf Galaxies
Abstract Observations at intermediate redshifts reveal the presence of numerous compact, weak Mg ii absorbers with near to supersolar metallicities, often surrounded by extended regions that produce C iv and/or O vi absorption, in the circumgalactic medium at large impact parameters from luminous galaxies. Their origin and nature remain unclear. We hypothesize that undetected satellite dwarf galaxies are responsible for producing some of these weak Mg ii absorbers. We test our hypothesis using gas dynamical simulations of galactic outflows from a dwarf galaxy with a halo mass of 5 × 10 9 M ⊙ , as might be falling into a larger L * halo at z = 2. We find that thin, filamentary, weak Mg ii absorbers (≲100 pc) are produced in two stages: (1) when shocked core-collapse supernova (SN II)–enriched gas descending in a galactic fountain gets shock compressed by upward flows driven by subsequent SN II and cools (phase 1) and, later, (2) during an outflow driven by Type Ia supernovae that shocks and sweeps up pervasive SN II–enriched gas, which then cools (phase 2). The Mg ii absorbers in our simulations are continuously generated by shocks and cooling with moderate metallicity ∼0.1–0.2 Z ⊙ but low more »
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Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10347595
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
909
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
157
ISSN:
0004-637X
1. ABSTRACT We present initial results from the Cosmic Ultraviolet Baryon Survey (CUBS). CUBS is designed to map diffuse baryonic structures at redshift z ≲ 1 using absorption-line spectroscopy of 15 UV-bright QSOs with matching deep galaxy survey data. CUBS QSOs are selected based on their NUV brightness to avoid biases against the presence of intervening Lyman limit systems (LLSs) at zabs < 1. We report five new LLSs of $\log \, N({\mathrm{ H} \,{\small I}})/{{\rm cm^{-2}}}\gtrsim 17.2$ over a total redshift survey path-length of $\Delta \, z_{\mathrm{ LL}}=9.3$, and a number density of $n(z)=0.43_{-0.18}^{+0.26}$. Considering all absorbers with $\log \, N({{\mathrm{ H} \,{\small I}}})/{{\rm cm^{-2}}}\gt 16.5$ leads to $n(z)=1.08_{-0.25}^{+0.31}$ at zabs < 1. All LLSs exhibit a multicomponent structure and associated metal transitions from multiple ionization states such as C ii, C iii, Mg ii, Si ii, Si iii, and O vi absorption. Differential chemical enrichment levels as well as ionization states are directly observed across individual components in three LLSs. We present deep galaxy survey data obtained using the VLT-MUSE integral field spectrograph and the Magellan Telescopes, reaching sensitivities necessary for detecting galaxies fainter than $0.1\, L_*$ at d ≲ 300 physical kpc (pkpc) in all five fields. A diverse range of galaxy properties ismore »
5. ABSTRACT We present a systematic investigation of physical conditions and elemental abundances in four optically thick Lyman-limit systems (LLSs) at z = 0.36–0.6 discovered within the cosmic ultraviolet baryon survey (CUBS). Because intervening LLSs at z < 1 suppress far-UV (ultraviolet) light from background QSOs, an unbiased search of these absorbers requires a near-UV-selected QSO sample, as achieved by CUBS. CUBS LLSs exhibit multicomponent kinematic structure and a complex mix of multiphase gas, with associated metal transitions from multiple ionization states such as C ii, C iii, N iii, Mg ii, Si ii, Si iii, O ii, O iii, O vi, and Fe ii absorption that span several hundred km s−1 in line-of-sight velocity. Specifically, higher column density components (log N(H i)/cm−2≳ 16) in all four absorbers comprise dynamically cool gas with $\langle T \rangle =(2\pm 1) \times 10^4\,$K and modest non-thermal broadening of $\langle b_\mathrm{nt} \rangle =5\pm 3\,$km s−1. The high quality of the QSO absorption spectra allows us to infer the physical conditions of the gas, using a detailed ionization modelling that takes into account the resolved component structures of H i and metal transitions. The range of inferred gas densities indicates that these absorbers consist of spatially compact clouds with a median line-of-sight thickness of $160^{+140}_{-50}$ pc. While obtaining robust metallicitymore »