Motivated by the discovery of rare enormous Lyman α nebulae (ELAN) around z ∼ 2 quasars, we initiated a long-term campaign with the MUSE/VLT instrument to directly uncover the astrophysics of the gas around quasars. We present here the first 61 targets under the acronym QSO MUSEUM. These quasars are characterized by a median redshift z = 3.17, absolute i magnitude in the range −29.67 ≤ Mi(z = 2) ≤ −27.03, and different levels of radio-loudness. This sample unveils diverse specimens of Ly α nebulosities extending for tens of kpc around these quasars (average maximum projected distance of 80 kpc) above a surface brightness SB > 8.8 × 10−19 erg s−1 cm−2 arcsec−2(2σ). The bulk of the Ly α emission is within R < 50 kpc, and is characterized by relatively quiescent kinematics, with average velocity dispersions σLy α < 400 km s−1. Therefore, the motions within all these Ly α nebulosities have amplitudes consistent with gravitational motions expected in dark matter haloes hosting quasars at these redshifts, possibly reflecting the complexity in propagating a fast wind on large scales. Our current data suggest a combination of photoionization and resonant scattering as powering mechanisms of the Ly α emission. We discover the first z ∼ 3 ELAN, confirming a very low probability (∼1 per cent) of occurrence of such systems at these redshifts. Finally, we discuss the redshift evolution currently seen in extended Ly α emission around radio-quiet quasars from z ∼ 3 to z ∼ 2, concluding that it is possibly linked to a decrease of cool gas mass within the circumgalactic medium of quasars from z ∼ 3 to z ∼ 2, and thus to the balance of cool versus hot media. Overall, QSO MUSEUM opens the path to statistical surveys targeting the gas phases in quasars' haloes along cosmic times.

Battaia, F., Hennawi, J., Xavier Prochaska, J., Onorbe, J., Farina, E., Cantalupo, S., et al. (2019). QSO Museum I: A sample of 61 extended Ly α-emission nebulae surrounding z ∼ 3 quasars. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 482(3), 3162-3205 [10.1093/mnras/sty2827].

QSO Museum I: A sample of 61 extended Ly α-emission nebulae surrounding z ∼ 3 quasars

Cantalupo S.;
2019

Abstract

Motivated by the discovery of rare enormous Lyman α nebulae (ELAN) around z ∼ 2 quasars, we initiated a long-term campaign with the MUSE/VLT instrument to directly uncover the astrophysics of the gas around quasars. We present here the first 61 targets under the acronym QSO MUSEUM. These quasars are characterized by a median redshift z = 3.17, absolute i magnitude in the range −29.67 ≤ Mi(z = 2) ≤ −27.03, and different levels of radio-loudness. This sample unveils diverse specimens of Ly α nebulosities extending for tens of kpc around these quasars (average maximum projected distance of 80 kpc) above a surface brightness SB > 8.8 × 10−19 erg s−1 cm−2 arcsec−2(2σ). The bulk of the Ly α emission is within R < 50 kpc, and is characterized by relatively quiescent kinematics, with average velocity dispersions σLy α < 400 km s−1. Therefore, the motions within all these Ly α nebulosities have amplitudes consistent with gravitational motions expected in dark matter haloes hosting quasars at these redshifts, possibly reflecting the complexity in propagating a fast wind on large scales. Our current data suggest a combination of photoionization and resonant scattering as powering mechanisms of the Ly α emission. We discover the first z ∼ 3 ELAN, confirming a very low probability (∼1 per cent) of occurrence of such systems at these redshifts. Finally, we discuss the redshift evolution currently seen in extended Ly α emission around radio-quiet quasars from z ∼ 3 to z ∼ 2, concluding that it is possibly linked to a decrease of cool gas mass within the circumgalactic medium of quasars from z ∼ 3 to z ∼ 2, and thus to the balance of cool versus hot media. Overall, QSO MUSEUM opens the path to statistical surveys targeting the gas phases in quasars' haloes along cosmic times.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Cosmology: observations; Galaxies: haloes; Galaxies: high-redshift; Intergalactic medium; Quasars: emission lines; Quasars: general;
English
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Battaia, F., Hennawi, J., Xavier Prochaska, J., Onorbe, J., Farina, E., Cantalupo, S., et al. (2019). QSO Museum I: A sample of 61 extended Ly α-emission nebulae surrounding z ∼ 3 quasars. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 482(3), 3162-3205 [10.1093/mnras/sty2827].
Battaia, F; Hennawi, J; Xavier Prochaska, J; Onorbe, J; Farina, E; Cantalupo, S; Lusso, E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/372551
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