Damped Ly α Absorbers in Star-forming Galaxies at z < 0.15 Detected with the Hubble Space Telescope and Implications for Galactic Evolution

Varsha P. Kulkarni, David V. Bowen, Lorrie A. Straka, Donald G. York, Neeraj Gupta, Pasquier Noterdaeme, Raghunathan Srianand

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Origins Spectrograph spectroscopy of 10 quasars with foreground star-forming galaxies at 0.02 < z < 0.14 within impact parameters of ?1/41-7 kpc. We detect damped/sub-damped Lyα (DLA/sub-DLA) absorption in 100% of cases where no higher-redshift Lyman-limit systems extinguish the flux at the expected wavelength of Lyα absorption, obtaining the largest targeted sample of DLA/sub-DLAs in low-redshift galaxies. We present absorption measurements of neutral hydrogen and metals. Additionally, we present Green Bank Telescope 21 cm emission measurements for five of the galaxies (including two detections). Combining our sample with the literature, we construct a sample of 117 galaxies associated with DLA/sub-DLAs spanning 0 < z < 4.4, and examine trends between gas and stellar properties, and with redshift. The H i column density is anticorrelated with impact parameter and stellar mass. More massive galaxies appear to have gas-rich regions out to larger distances. The specific star formation rate (sSFR) of absorbing galaxies increases with redshift and decreases with M∗, consistent with evolution of the star formation main sequence (SFMS). However, ?1/420% of absorbing galaxies lie below the SFMS, indicating that some DLA/sub-DLAs trace galaxies with longer-than-typical gas-depletion timescales. Most DLA/sub-DLA galaxies with 21 cm emission have higher H i masses than typical galaxies with comparable M∗. High M HI/M∗ ratios and high sSFRs in DLA/sub-DLA galaxies with M∗ < 109 M ? suggest these galaxies may be gas-rich because of recent gas accretion rather than inefficient star formation. Our study demonstrates the power of absorption and emission studies of DLA/sub-DLA galaxies for extending galactic evolution studies to previously under-explored regimes of low M∗ and low SFR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number150
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume929
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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