We report the discovery of three new 'near-pristine' Lyman limit systems (LLSs), with metallicities approximate to 11/1000 solar, at redshifts 2.6, 3.8, and 4.0, with a targeted survey at the Keck Observatory. High-resolution echelle spectra of eight candidates yielded precise column densities of hydrogen and weak, but clearly detected, metal lines in seven LLSs; we previously reported the one remaining, apparently metal-free LLS, to have metallicity <1/10 000 solar. Robust photoionization modelling provides metallicities [Si/H] = -3.05 to -2.94, with 0.26 dex uncertainties (95 per cent confidence) for three LLSs, and [Si/H] greater than or similar to -2.5 for the remaining four. Previous simulations suggest that near-pristine II.Ss could be the remnants of PopIII supernovae, so comparing their detailed metal abundances with nucleosynthetic yields from supernovae models is an important goal. Unfortunately, at most two different metals were detected in each new system, despite their neutral hydrogen column densities (10(19.2)-10(1)(9.4) cm(-2)) being two orders of magnitude larger than the two previous, serendipitously discovered near-pristine LLSs. Nevertheless, the success of this first targeted survey for near-pristine systems demonstrates the prospect that a much larger, future survey could identify clear observational signatures of PopIII stars. With a well-understood selection function, such a survey would also yield the number density of near-pristine absorbers that, via comparison to future simulations, could reveal the origin(s) of these rare systems.

Robert, P., Murphy, M., O'Meara, J., Crighton, N., Fumagalli, M. (2022). Discovery of three new near-pristine absorption clouds at z= 2.6-4.4. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 514(3), 3559-3578 [10.1093/mnras/stac1550].

Discovery of three new near-pristine absorption clouds at z= 2.6-4.4

Fumagalli, M
2022

Abstract

We report the discovery of three new 'near-pristine' Lyman limit systems (LLSs), with metallicities approximate to 11/1000 solar, at redshifts 2.6, 3.8, and 4.0, with a targeted survey at the Keck Observatory. High-resolution echelle spectra of eight candidates yielded precise column densities of hydrogen and weak, but clearly detected, metal lines in seven LLSs; we previously reported the one remaining, apparently metal-free LLS, to have metallicity <1/10 000 solar. Robust photoionization modelling provides metallicities [Si/H] = -3.05 to -2.94, with 0.26 dex uncertainties (95 per cent confidence) for three LLSs, and [Si/H] greater than or similar to -2.5 for the remaining four. Previous simulations suggest that near-pristine II.Ss could be the remnants of PopIII supernovae, so comparing their detailed metal abundances with nucleosynthetic yields from supernovae models is an important goal. Unfortunately, at most two different metals were detected in each new system, despite their neutral hydrogen column densities (10(19.2)-10(1)(9.4) cm(-2)) being two orders of magnitude larger than the two previous, serendipitously discovered near-pristine LLSs. Nevertheless, the success of this first targeted survey for near-pristine systems demonstrates the prospect that a much larger, future survey could identify clear observational signatures of PopIII stars. With a well-understood selection function, such a survey would also yield the number density of near-pristine absorbers that, via comparison to future simulations, could reveal the origin(s) of these rare systems.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
galaxies: haloes; intergalactic medium; line: profiles; quasars: absorption lines;
English
10-giu-2022
2022
514
3
3559
3578
open
Robert, P., Murphy, M., O'Meara, J., Crighton, N., Fumagalli, M. (2022). Discovery of three new near-pristine absorption clouds at z= 2.6-4.4. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 514(3), 3559-3578 [10.1093/mnras/stac1550].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/397314
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