Magellan LDSS3 emission confirmation of galaxies hosting metal-rich Lyman α absorption systems

Lorrie A. Straka, Sean Johnson, Donald G. York, David V. Bowen, Michael Florian, Varsha P. Kulkarni, Britt Lundgren, Celine Péroux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Using the Low Dispersion Survey Spectrograph 3 at the Magellan II Clay Telescope, we target candidate absorption host galaxies detected in deep optical imaging (reaching limiting apparent magnitudes of 23.0-26.5 in g, r, i, and z filters) in the fields of three QSOs, each of which shows the presence of high metallicity, high NH1 absorption systems in their spectra (Q0826-2230: zabs = 0.9110, Q1323-0021: zabs = 0.7160, Q1436-0051: zabs = 0.7377, 0.9281). We confirm three host galaxies at redshifts 0.7387, 0.7401, and 0.9286 for two of the Lyman α absorption systems (one with two galaxies interacting). For these systems, we are able to determine the star formation rates (SFRs); impact parameters (from previous imaging detections); the velocity shift between the absorption and emission redshifts; and, for one system, also the emission metallicity. Based on previous photometry, we find these galaxies have L > L*. The [O II] SFRs for these galaxies are in the range 11-25 M yr-1 (uncorrected for dust), while the impact parameters lie in the range 35-54 kpc. Despite the fact that we have confirmed galaxies at 50 kpc from the QSO, no gradient in metallicity is indicated between the absorption metallicity along the QSO line of sight and the emission line metallicity in the galaxies. We confirm the anticorrelation between impact parameter and NH1 from the literature. We also report the emission redshift of five other galaxies: three at zem > zQSO, and two (L < L*) at zem < zQSO not corresponding to any known absorption systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3760-3772
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 17 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: Distances and redshifts
  • Intergalactic medium
  • Quasars: Absorption lines
  • Quasars: Individual: Q0826-2230
  • Quasars: Individual: Q1323-0021
  • Quasars: Individual: Q1436-0051


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