High-ion absorption in the proximate damped Ly-α system toward Q0841+129 - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2011

High-ion absorption in the proximate damped Ly-α system toward Q0841+129

A. J. Fox
  • Function : Author
C. Ledoux
  • Function : Author
R. Srianand
R. Guimarães
  • Function : Author


We present VLT/UVES spectroscopy of the quasar Q0841+129, whose spectrum shows a proximate damped Ly-α (PDLA) absorber at z = 2.47621 and a proximate sub-DLA at z = 2.50620, both lying close in redshift to the QSO itself at zem = 2.49510 ± 0.00003. This fortuitous arrangement, with the sub-DLA acting as a filter that hardens the QSO's ionizing radiation field, allows us to model the ionization level in the foreground PDLA, and provides an interesting case-study on the origin of the high-ion absorption lines Si iv, C iv, and O vi in DLAs. The high ions in the PDLA show at least five components spanning a total velocity extent of ≈ 160 km s-1, whereas the low ions exist predominantly in a single component spanning just 30 km s-1. We examine various models for the origin of the high ions. Both photoionization and turbulent mixing layer models are fairly successful at reproducing the observed ionic ratios after correcting for the non-solar relative abundance pattern, though neither model can explain all five components. We show that the turbulent mixing layer model, in which the high ions trace the interfaces between the cool PDLA gas and a hotter phase of shock-heated plasma, can explain the average high-ion ratios measured in a larger sample of 12 DLAs.

Based on observations taken under proposal IDs 65.O-0063(B), 70.B-0258(A), and 383.A-0376(A) with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Unit 2 (Kueyen) operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at Paranal, Chile.

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insu-03645896 , version 1 (22-04-2022)



A. J. Fox, C. Ledoux, P. Petitjean, R. Srianand, R. Guimarães. High-ion absorption in the proximate damped Ly-α system toward Q0841+129. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2011, 534, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201116995⟩. ⟨insu-03645896⟩
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