Using science verification observations obtained with ESPRESSO at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in 4UT mode, we report the first bound on the carbon isotope ratio C-12/C-13 of a quiescent, near-pristine damped Ly alpha (DLA) system at z = 2.34. We infer a limit log(10) C-12/C-13 > +0.37(2 sigma). We use the abundance pattern of this DLA, combined with a stochastic chemical enrichment model, to infer the properties of the enriching stars, finding the total gas mass of this system to be log(10) (M-gas/M-circle dot) = 6.3(-0.9)(+1.4) and the total stellar mass to be lo(10)(M-*/M-circle dot) = 4.8 +/- 1.3. The current observations disfavour enrichment by metal-poor asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars with masses < 2.4 M-circle dot, limiting the epoch at which this DLA formed most of its enriching stars. Our modelling suggests that this DLA formed very few stars until greater than or similar to 1 Gyr after the cosmic reionization of hydrogen and, despite its very low metallicity (similar to 1/1000 of solar), this DLA appears to have formed most of its stars in the past few hundred Myr. Combining the inferred star formation history with evidence that some of the most metal-poor DLAs display an elevated [C/O] ratio at redshift z less than or similar to 3, we suggest that very metal-poor DLAs may have been affected by reionization quenching. Finally, given the simplicity and quiescence of the absorption features associated with the DLA studied here, we use these ESPRESSO data to place a bound on the possible variability of the fine-structure constant, Delta alpha/alpha = (-1.2 +/- 1.1) x 10(-5).
Welsh, L., Cooke, R., Fumagalli, M., & Pettini, M. (2020). A bound on the 12C/13C ratio in near-pristine gas with ESPRESSO. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 494(1), 1411-1423.
|Citazione:||Welsh, L., Cooke, R., Fumagalli, M., & Pettini, M. (2020). A bound on the 12C/13C ratio in near-pristine gas with ESPRESSO. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 494(1), 1411-1423.|
|Tipo:||Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||Si|
|Titolo:||A bound on the 12C/13C ratio in near-pristine gas with ESPRESSO|
|Autori:||Welsh, L; Cooke, R; Fumagalli, M; Pettini, M|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Rivista:||MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa807|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|