J. X. Prochaska

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States

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Publications (586)

  • Christopher B. Wotta · Nicolas Lehner · J. Christopher Howk · [...] · J. Xavier Prochaska
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the metallicity distribution of the dense circumgalactic medium (CGM) of galaxies at 0.1 < z < 1.1 as probed by partial Lyman limit systems (pLLSs, 16.1 < log N(H I) < 17.2) and LLSs (17.2 < log N(H I) < 17.7 in our sample). The new H I-selected sample, drawn from our HST COS G140L snapshot survey of 61 QSOs, has 20 pLLSs and 10 LLSs. Combined with our previous survey, we have a total of 44 pLLSs and 11 LLSs. We find that the metallicity distribution of the pLLSs is bimodal at z < 1, with a minimum at [X/H] = -1. The low-metallicity peak comprises (57 +/- 8)% of the pLLSs and is centered at [X/H] ~ -1.87 (1.3% solar metallicity), while the high-metallicity peak is centered at [X/H] ~ -0.32 (48% solar metallicity). Although the sample of LLSs is still small, there is some evidence that the metallicity distributions of the LLSs and pLLSs are different, with a far lower fraction of very metal-poor ([X/H] < -1.4) LLSs than pLLSs. The fraction of LLSs with [X/H] < -1 is similar to that found in pLLSs (~56%). However, higher H I column density absorbers (log N(H I) > 19.0) show a much lower fraction of metal-poor gas; therefore, the metallicity distribution of gas in and around galaxies depends sensitively on N(H I) at z < 1. We interpret the high-metallicity ([X/H] > -1) pLLSs and LLSs as arising in outflows, recycling winds, and tidally-stripped gas around galaxies. The low-metallicity pLLSs and LLSs imply that the CGM of z < 1 galaxies is also host to a substantial mass of cool, dense, low-metallicity gas that may ultimately accrete onto the galaxies.
    Article · Aug 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the first results from our KODIAQ Z survey aimed to determine the metallicity distribution and physical properties of the partial and full Lyman limit systems (pLLSs and LLSs; 16.2<log N(HI)<19) at z>2, which probe gas in the interface regions between the intergalactic medium and galaxies. We study 31 HI-selected pLLSs and LLSs at 2.3<z<3.3 observed with Keck/HIRES in absorption against background QSOs. We compare the column densities of metal-ions to N(HI) and use photoionization models to assess the total H column density and the metallicity. The metallicity distribution function (MDF) of the pLLSs/LLSs at 2.3<z<3.3 is consistent with a unimodal distribution peaking at [X/H]=-2, in contrast to the bimodal MDF seen at z<1. There is a substantial fraction (20-45%) of pLLSs/LLSs with metallicities well below those of damped Lyman alpha absorbers (DLAs) at any given z, and this fraction remains relatively constant from z<1 to z~2-4. There is therefore a reservoir of metal-poor cool gas at all z that may eventually accrete onto galaxies. We find that on average the metallicity increases with increasing N(HI) from the Lyman alpha forest, to the pLLSs/LLSs, to the damped Lyman alpha absorbers (DLAs). Finally there is evidence for C/alpha enhancement in several pLLSs and LLSs in the metallicity range -2<[X/H]<-0.5 where C/alpha is 2-5 times larger than observed in Galactic metal-poor stars or high redshift DLAs at similar metallicities; this is possibly caused by preferential ejection of carbon from metal-poor galaxies into their surroundings.
    Article · Aug 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the execution and data reduction of the European Southern Observatory Large Programme "Quasars and their absorption lines: a legacy survey of the high-redshift universe with VLT/XSHOOTER" (hereafter `XQ-100'). XQ-100 has produced and made publicly available an homogeneous and high-quality sample of echelle spectra of 100 QSOs at redshifts z~3.5-4.5 observed with full spectral coverage from 315 to 2500 nm at a resolving power ranging from R~4000 to 7000, depending on wavelength. The median signal-to-noise ratios are 33, 25 and 43, as measured at rest-frame wavelengths 1700, 3000 and 3600 Angstrom, respectively. This paper provides future users of XQ-100 data with the basic statistics of the survey, along with details of target selection, data acquisition and data reduction. The paper accompanies the public release of all data products, including 100 reduced spectra. XQ-100 is the largest spectroscopic survey to date of high-redshift QSOs with simultaneous rest-frame UV/optical coverage, and as such enables a wide range of extragalactic research, from cosmology and galaxy evolution to AGN astrophysics.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on the search for galaxies in the proximity of two very metal-poor gas clouds at z~3 towards the quasar Q0956+122. With a 5-hour MUSE integration in a ~500x500 kpc^2 region centred at the quasar position, we achieve a >80% complete spectroscopic survey of continuum-detected galaxies with m<25 mag and Ly{\alpha} emitters with luminosity L>3e41 erg/s. We do not identify galaxies at the redshift of a z~3.2 Lyman limit system (LLS) with log Z/Zsun = -3.35 +/- 0.05, placing this gas cloud in the intergalactic medium or circumgalactic medium of a galaxy below our sensitivity limits. Conversely, we detect five Ly{\alpha} emitters at the redshift of a pristine z~3.1 LLS with log Z/Zsun < -3.8, while ~0.4 sources were expected given the z~3 Ly{\alpha} luminosity function. Both this high detection rate and the fact that at least three emitters appear aligned in projection with the LLS suggest that this pristine cloud is tracing a gas filament that is feeding one or multiple galaxies. Our observations uncover two different environments for metal-poor LLSs, implying a complex link between these absorbers and galaxy halos, which ongoing MUSE surveys will soon explore in detail. Moreover, in agreement with recent MUSE observations, we detected a ~90 kpc Ly{\alpha} nebula at the quasar redshift and three Ly{\alpha} emitters reminiscent of a "dark galaxy" population.
    Full-text Article · Jul 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • J. Xavier Prochaska · Chris Ratliff · Jerry Cabak · [...] · Truman Wold
    Conference Paper · Jul 2016
  • Hai Fu · J. F. Hennawi · J. X. Prochaska · [...] · D. Thompson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the first results from an on-going survey to characterize the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of the massive high-redshift galaxies detected as submillimeter galaxies (SMGs). We constructed a parent sample of 163 SMG-QSO pairs with separations less than $\sim$36 arcsec by cross-matching far-infrared-selected galaxies from Herschel with spectroscopically confirmed QSOs. The Herschel sources were selected to match the properties of SMGs. We determined the sub-arcsecond positions of six Herschel sources with the Very Large Array and obtained secure redshift identification for three of those with near-infrared spectroscopy. The QSO sightlines probe transverse proper distances of 112, 157, and 198 kpc at foreground redshifts of 2.043, 2.515, and 2.184, respectively, which are comparable to the virial radius of the $\sim10^{13}$ Msun halos expected to host SMGs. High-quality absorption-line spectroscopy of the QSOs reveals systematically strong HI Lyman-alpha absorption around all three SMGs, with rest-frame equivalent widths of $\sim2-3$ \AA. However, none of the three absorbers exhibits compelling evidence for optically thick HI gas or metal absorption, in contrast to the dominance of strong neutral absorbers in the CGM of luminous $z \sim 2$ QSOs. The low covering factor of optically thick HI gas around SMGs tentatively indicates that SMGs may not have as prominent cool gas reservoirs in their halos as the co-eval QSOs and that they may inhabit less massive halos than previously thought.
    Article · Jun 2016
  • Michael T. Murphy · Adrian L. Malec · J. Xavier Prochaska
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The strongest transitions of Zn and CrII are the most sensitive to relative variations in the fine-structure constant ($\Delta\alpha/\alpha$) among the transitions commonly observed in quasar absorption spectra. They also lie within just 40 \AA\ of each other (rest frame), so they are resistant to the main systematic error affecting most previous measurements of $\Delta\alpha/\alpha$: long-range distortions of the wavelength calibration. While Zn and CrII absorption is normally very weak in quasar spectra, we obtained high signal-to-noise, high-resolution echelle spectra from the Keck and Very Large Telescopes of 9 rare systems where it is strong enough to constrain $\Delta\alpha/\alpha$ from these species alone. These provide 12 independent measurements (3 quasars were observed with both telescopes) at redshifts 1.0--2.4, 11 of which pass stringent reliability criteria. These 11 are all consistent with $\Delta\alpha/\alpha=0$ within their individual uncertainties of 3.5--13 parts per million (ppm), with a weighted mean $\Delta\alpha/\alpha = 0.4\pm1.4_{\rm stat}\pm0.9_{\rm sys}$ ppm (1$\sigma$ statistical and systematic uncertainties), indicating no significant cosmological variations in $\alpha$. This is the first statistical sample of absorbers that is resistant to long-range calibration distortions (at the $<$1 ppm level), with a precision comparable to previous large samples of $\sim$150 (distortion-affected) absorbers. Our systematic error budget is instead dominated by much shorter-range distortions repeated across echelle orders of individual spectra.
    Article · Jun 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have collected near-infrared to X-ray data of 20 multi-epoch heavily reddened SDSS quasars to investigate the physical mechanism of reddening. Of these, J2317+0005 is found to be a UV cutoff quasar. Its continuum, which usually appears normal, decreases by a factor 3.5 at 3000{\AA}, compared to its more typical bright state during an interval of 23 days. During this sudden continuum cut-off, the broad emission line fluxes do not change, perhaps due to the large size of the Broad Line Region (BLR), r > 23 / (1+z) days. The UV continuum may have suffered a dramatic drop out. However, there are some difficulties with this explanation. Another possibility is that the intrinsic continuum did not change, but was temporarily blocked out, at least towards our line of sight. As indicated by X-ray observations, the continuum rapidly recovers after 42 days. A comparison of the bright state and dim states would imply an eclipse by a dusty cloud with a reddening curve having a remarkably sharp rise shortward of 3500{\AA}. Under the assumption of being eclipsed by a Keplerian dusty cloud, we characterized the cloud size with our observations, however, which is a little smaller than the 3000\AA\ continuum-emitting size inferred from accretion disk models. Therefore, we speculate this is due to a rapid outflow or inflow with a dusty cloud passing through our line-of-sight to the center.
    Article · May 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    Serena Perrotta · Valentina D'Odorico · J. Xavier Prochaska · [...] · Gábor Worseck
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We statistically study the physical properties of a sample of narrow absorption line (NAL) systems looking for empirical evidences to distinguish between intrinsic and intervening NALs without taking into account any a priori definition or velocity cut-off. We analyze the spectra of 100 quasars with 3.5 < z$\rm_{em}$ < 4.5, observed with X-shooter/VLT in the context of the XQ-100 Legacy Survey. We detect a $\sim$ 8 $\sigma$ excess in the number density of absorbers within 10,000 km/s of the quasar emission redshift with respect to the random occurrence of NALs. This excess does not show a dependence on the quasar bolometric luminosity and it is not due to the redshift evolution of NALs. It extends far beyond the standard 5000 km/s cut-off traditionally defined for associated absorption lines. We propose to modify this definition, extending the threshold to 10,000 km/s when also weak absorbers (equivalent width < 0.2 \AA) are considered. We infer NV is the ion that better traces the effects of the quasar ionization field, offering the best statistical tool to identify intrinsic systems. Following this criterion we estimate that the fraction of quasars in our sample hosting an intrinsic NAL system is 33 percent. Lastly, we compare the properties of the material along the quasar line of sight, derived from our sample, with results based on close quasar pairs investigating the transverse direction. We find a deficiency of cool gas (traced by CII) along the line of sight associated with the quasar host galaxy, in contrast with what is observed in the transverse direction.
    Full-text Article · May 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the context of the FLASHLIGHT survey, we obtained deep narrow band images of 15 $z\sim2$ quasars with GMOS on Gemini-South in an effort to measure Ly$\alpha$ emission from circum- and inter-galactic gas on scales of hundreds of kpc from the central quasar. We do not detect bright giant Ly$\alpha$ nebulae (SB~10$^{-17}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ arcsec$^{-2}$ at distances >50 kpc) around any of our sources, although we routinely ($\simeq47$%) detect smaller scale <50 kpc Ly$\alpha$ emission at this SB level emerging from either the extended narrow emission line regions powered by the quasars or by star-formation in their host galaxies. We stack our 15 deep images to study the average extended Ly$\alpha$ surface brightness profile around $z\sim2$ quasars, carefully PSF-subtracting the unresolved emission component and paying close attention to sources of systematic error. Our analysis, which achieves an unprecedented depth, reveals a surface brightness of SB$_{\rm Ly\alpha}\sim10^{-19}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ arcsec$^{-2}$ at $\sim200$ kpc, with a $2.3\sigma$ detection of Ly$\alpha$ emission at SB$_{\rm Ly\alpha}=(5.5\pm3.1)\times10^{-20}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ arcsec$^{-2}$ within an annulus spanning 50 kpc <R< 500 kpc from the quasars. Assuming this Ly$\alpha$ emission is powered by fluorescence from highly ionized gas illuminated by the bright central quasar, we deduce an average volume density of $n_{\rm H}=0.6\times10^{-2}$ cm$^{-3}$ on these large scales. Our results are in broad agreement with the densities suggested by cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of massive ($M\simeq10^{12.5}M_\odot$) quasar hosts, however they indicate that the typical quasars at these redshifts are surrounded by gas that is a factor of ~100 times less dense than the (~1 cm$^{-3}$) gas responsible for the giant bright Ly$\alpha$ nebulae around quasars recently discovered by our group.
    Article · Apr 2016
  • Jonathan Stern · Joseph F. Hennawi · J. Xavier Prochaska · Jessica K. Werk
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We develop a new method to constrain the physical conditions in the cool (~10^4 K) circumgalactic medium (CGM) from measurements of ionic columns densities, under two main assumptions: that the cool CGM spans a large range of gas densities, and that small high-density clouds are hierarchically embedded in large low-density clouds. The new method combines (or `stacks') the information available from different sightlines during the photoionization modeling, thus yielding significantly tighter constraints on the CGM properties compared to traditional methods which model each sightline individually. Applying this new technique to the COS-Halos survey of low-redshift ~L* galaxies, we find that we can reproduce all observed ion columns in all 44 galaxies in the sample, from the low-ions to OVI, with a single universal density structure for the cool CGM. The gas densities span the range 50 < \rho/\rho_mean < 5x10^5 (\rho_mean is the cosmic mean), while the physical size of individual clouds scales as ~\rho^-1, from ~35 kpc of the low density OVI clouds to ~6 pc of the highest density low-ion clouds. The cloud sizes are too small for this density structure to be driven by self-gravity, thus its physical source is unclear. We find a total cool CGM mass within the virial radius of 1.3x10^10 M_sun (~1% of the halo mass), distributed rather uniformly over the four decades in density. The mean cool gas density profile scales as R^-1.0, where R is the distance from the galaxy center. We construct a 3D model of the cool CGM based on our results, which we argue are a benchmark for the CGM structure in hydrodynamic simulations. Our results can be tested by measuring the coherence scales of different ions, using absorption line measurements along multiple sightlines towards lensed quasars.
    Article · Apr 2016
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    Marcel Neeleman · J. Xavier Prochaska · Martin A. Zwaan · [...] · Tayyaba Zafar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the first detection of molecular emission from a galaxy selected to be near a projected background quasar using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The ALMA detection of CO(1-0) emission from the z = 0.101 galaxy toward quasar PKS 0439-433 is coincident with its stellar disk and yields a molecular gas mass of Mmol ≈ 4.2 × 109 M⊙ (for a Galactic CO-to-H2 conversion factor), larger than the upper limit on its atomic gas mass. We resolve the CO velocity field, obtaining a rotational velocity of 134 ± 11 km s-1 and a resultant dynamical mass of ≥4 × 1010 M⊙. Despite its high metallicity and large molecular mass, the z = 0.101 galaxy has a low star formation rate, implying a large gas consumption timescale, larger than that typical of late-type galaxies. Most of the molecular gas is hence likely to be in a diffuse extended phase, rather than in dense molecular clouds. By combining the results of emission and absorption studies, we find that the strongest molecular absorption component toward the quasar cannot arise from the molecular disk, but is likely to arise from diffuse gas in the galaxy's circumgalactic medium. Our results emphasize the potential of combining molecular and stellar emission line studies with optical absorption line studies to achieve a more complete picture of the gas within and surrounding high-redshift galaxies. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
    Full-text Article · Mar 2016
  • S. Archambault · A. Archer · W. Benbow · [...] · J. X. Prochaska
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Between the beginning of its full-scale scientific operations in 2007 and 2012, the VERITAS Cherenkov telescope array observed more than 130 blazars; of these, 26 were detected as very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) {\gamma}-ray sources. In this work, we present the analysis results of a sample of 114 undetected objects. The observations constitute a total live-time of ~570 hours. The sample includes several unidentified Fermi-Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources (located at high Galactic latitude) as well as all the sources from the second Fermi-LAT catalog which are contained within the field of view of the VERITAS observations. We have also performed optical spectroscopy measurements in order to estimate the redshift of some of these blazars that do not have a spectroscopic distance estimate. We present new optical spectra from the Kast instrument on the Shane telescope at the Lick observatory for 18 blazars included in this work, which allowed for the successful measurement or constraint on the redshift of four of them. For each of the blazars included in our sample we provide the flux upper limit in the VERITAS energy band. We also study the properties of the significance distributions and we present the result of a stacked analysis of the data-set, which shows a 4 {\sigma} excess.
    Article · Mar 2016 · The Astronomical Journal
  • TalaWanda R. Monroe · J. Xavier Prochaska · Nicolas Tejos · [...] · Yue Shen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the first data release (DR1) from our UV-bright Quasar Survey (UVQS) for new $z \sim 1$ active galactic nuclei (AGN) across the sky. Using simple GALEX UV and WISE near-IR color selection criteria, we generated a list of 1450 primary candidates with $FUV < 18.5$ mag. We obtained discovery spectra, primarily on 3m-class telescopes, for 1040 of these candidates and confirmed 86% as AGN with redshifts generally at $z>0.5$. Including a small set of observed secondary candidates, we report the discovery of 217 AGN with $FUV < 18$ mag that had no previously reported spectroscopic redshift. These are excellent potential targets for UV spectroscopy before the end of the {\it Hubble Space Telescope} mission. The main data products are publicly released through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes.
    Article · Feb 2016 · The Astronomical Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a Hubble Space Telescope STIS spectrum of ASASSN-14li, the first rest-frame UV spectrum of a tidal disruption flare (TDF). The underlying continuum is well fit by a blackbody with $T_{\mathrm{UV}} = 3.5 \times 10^{4}$ K, an order of magnitude smaller than the temperature inferred from X-ray spectra (and significantly more precise than previous efforts based on optical and near-UV photometry). Super-imposed on this blue continuum, we detect three classes of features: narrow absorption from the Milky Way (probably a High-Velocity Cloud), and narrow absorption and broad (FWHM $\approx 2000$-8000 km s$^{-1}$) emission lines at/near the systemic host velocity. The absorption lines are blueshifted with respect to the emission lines by $\Delta v = -(250$-400) km s$^{-1}$. Together with the lack of common low-ionization features (Mg II, Fe II), we argue these arise from the same absorbing material responsible for the low-velocity outflow discovered at X-ray wavelengths. The broad nuclear emission lines display a remarkable abundance pattern: N III], N IV], He II are quite prominent, while the common quasar emission lines of C III] and Mg II are weak or entirely absent. Detailed modeling of this spectrum will help elucidate fundamental questions regarding the nature of the emission process(es) at work in TDFs, while future UV spectroscopy of ASASSN-14li would help to confirm (or refute) the previously proposed connection between TDFs and "N-rich" quasars.
    Article · Jan 2016
  • Marcel Neeleman · J. Xavier Prochaska · Joseph Ribaudo · [...] · Nissim Kanekar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive of ultraviolet (UV) quasar spectroscopy to conduct the first blind survey for damped Ly-alpha absorbers (DLAs) at low redshift (z < 1.6). Our statistical sample includes 463 quasars with spectral coverage spanning a total redshift path, dz = 123.3 or an absorption path, dX = 229.7. Within this survey path, we identify 4 DLAs, defined as absorbers with HI column density N(HI) >= 10^20.3cm-2, which implies an incidence per absorption length, l(X)= 0.017(+0.014-0.008) at a median survey path redshift of z=0.623. While our estimate of l(X) is lower than earlier estimates at z ~ 0 from HI 21cm emission studies, the results are consistent within the measurement uncertainties. Our dataset is too small to properly sample the N(HI) frequency distribution function f(N(HI),X), but the observed distribution agrees with previous estimates at z > 2. Adopting the z > 2 shape of f(N(HI),X), we infer an HI mass density at z ~ 0.6 of rho_HI = 0.25(+0.20-0.12) x 10^8 Msol Mpc-3. This is significantly lower than previous estimates from targeted DLA surveys with the HST, but consistent with results from low-z HI 21cm observations, and suggests that the neutral gas density of the universe has been decreasing over the past 10 Gyrs.
    Article · Jan 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern cosmology predicts that a galaxy overdensity is associated to a large reservoir of the intergalactic gas, which can be traced by the Ly$\alpha$ forest absorption. We have undertaken a systematic study of the relation between Coherently Strong intergalactic Ly$\alpha$ Absorption systems (CoSLAs), which have highest optical depth ($\tau$) in $\tau$ distribution, and mass overdensities on the scales of $\sim$ 10 - 20 $h^{-1}$ comoving Mpc. On such large scales, our cosmological simulations show a strong correlation between the effective optical depth ($\tau_{\rm{eff}}$) of the CoSLAs and the 3-D mass overdensities. In moderate signal-to-noise spectra, however, the profiles of CoSLAs can be confused with high column density absorbers. For $z>2.6$, where the corresponding Ly$\beta$ is redshifted to the optical, we have developed the technique to differentiate between these two alternatives. We have applied this technique to SDSS-III quasar survey at $z = 2.6$ - 3.3, and we present a sample of five CoSLA candidates with $\tau_{\rm{eff}}$ on 15 $h^{-1}$ Mpc greater than $4.5\times$ the mean optical depth. At lower redshifts of $z < 2.6$, where the background quasar density is higher, the overdensity can be traced by intergalactic absorption groups using multiple sight lines. Our overdensity searches fully utilize the current and next generation of Ly$\alpha$ forest surveys which cover a survey volume of $> (1\ h^{-1}$ Gpc)$^3$. In addition, systems traced by CoSLAs will build a uniform sample of the most massive overdensities at $z > 2$ to constrain the models of structure formation, and offer a unique laboratory to study the interactions between galaxy overdensities and the intergalactic medium.
    Article · Dec 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using galaxies as background light sources to map the Lya absorption lines is a novel approach to study Damped Lya Absorbers (DLAs). We report the discovery of an intervening z = 3.335 +- 0.007 DLA along a galaxy sight-line identified among 80 Lyman Break Galaxy (LBG) spectra obtained with our VLT/VIMOS survey in the SSA22 field. The measured DLA neutral hydrogen (HI) column density is log (NHI/cm^{-2}) = 21.68 +- 0.17. The DLA covering fraction over the extended background LBG is > 70 % (2 sigma), yielding a conservative constraint on the DLA area as > 1 kpc^2. Our search for a counterpart galaxy hosting this DLA concludes that there is no counterpart galaxy with star formation rate (SFR) larger than a few Msun yr^{-1}, ruling out an unobscured violent star formation in the DLA gas cloud. We also rule out the possibility that the host galaxy of the DLA is a passive galaxy with Mstar > 5 x 10^{10} Msun or a heavily dust-obscured galaxy with E(B-V) > 2. The DLA may coincide in a large-scale overdensity of the spectroscopic LBGs. The occurrence rate of the DLA is compatible with that of DLAs found in QSO sight-lines.
    Article · Dec 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
  • Bruce Margon · J. Xavier Prochaska · Nicolas Tejos · TalaWanda Monroe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An incidental spectrum of the poorly studied long-period variable EF Aquilae shows [O III] emission indicative of a symbiotic star. Strong GALEX detections in the UV reinforce this classification, providing overt evidence for the presence of the hot subluminous companion. Recent compilations of the photometric behavior strongly suggest that the cool component is a Mira variable. Thus EF Aql appears to be a member of the rare symbiotic Mira subgroup. © 2016. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. All rights reserved.
    Article · Dec 2015 · Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We employ a blindly selected sample of low-redshift C IV absorption systems identified in spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS), combined with galaxy data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), to study the metal-enriched circumgalactic medium (CGM) with ~100% completeness for galaxy luminosities L > 0.01 L* at z < 0.015. We find that galaxies are typically found at the C IV absorber redshifts within impact parameters rho < 200 kpc, with the nearest galaxy having L < 0.1 L* for 78% of the absorbers. The ubiquity of faint dwarfs in close proximity to the absorbers suggests that these galaxies affect the enrichment and physical conditions of massive-galaxy halos. However, a fraction of our sample (33%) arise well outside the virial radius of any nearby galaxy brighter than 0.01 L*. The detection rate for C IV absorption within the virial radius is mass dependent and is considerably higher for L >~0.1 L* galaxies (7/8) than for less luminous galaxies (1/10). We also find that the occurrence of C IV absorbers depends strongly on the broader environment: 67% (8/12) of galaxies with rho < 150 kpc in regions of low galaxy density (regions with fewer than ten 0.1 L* galaxies within 1 Mpc) have affiliated C IV absorption while none (0/9) of the galaxies in denser regions show C IV within rho < 150 kpc. The reduced detection rate of C IV in denser environments persists for massive group dark matter halos. In contrast, H I is pervasive in the CGM without regard to mass or environment, although some of these Ly-alpha absorbers could arise in unrelated intergalactic gas.
    Article · Dec 2015

Publication Stats

13k Citations


  • 1925-2015
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2014
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Princeton University
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      CGS, Maryland, United States
  • 2010-2012
    • Saint Michael's College
      Colchester, Vermont, United States
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Astronomy
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Porto
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 2003-2009
    • University of California Observatories
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2006-2008
    • NASA
      Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States
    • Joint Institute for Heavy Ion Research
      Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
  • 2005-2008
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS)
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 2000-2008
    • Carnegie Institute
      Pasadena, Texas, United States
  • 1998-2008
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      • Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 2000-2007
    • California Institute of Technology
      Pasadena, California, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Oklahoma
      Norman, Oklahoma, United States