The connections between QSO absorption systems and galaxies: Low-redshift observations

Todd M. Tripp, David V. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Quasar absorption lines have long been recognised to be a sensitive probe of the abundances, physical conditions, and kinematics of gas in a wide variety of environments including low-density intergalactic regions that probably cannot be studied by any other means. While some pre-Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations indicated that Mg II absorption lines arise in gaseous galactic halos with a large covering factor, many early QSO absorber studies were hampered by a lack of information about the context of the absorbers and their connections with galaxies. By providing access to crucial ultraviolet resonance lines at low redshifts, deployment of HST and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer enabled detailed studies of the relationships between QSO absorbers and galaxies. The advent of large surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has also advanced the topic by greatly improving the size of absorber and galaxy samples. This paper briefly reviews some observational results on absorbergalaxy connections that have been obtained in the HST/SDSS era, including Mg II absorbers, the low-z Lyα forest, Lyman limit and damped Lyα absorbers, and O VI systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-23
Number of pages19
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberC199
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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