A Deep Search for Faint Galaxies Associated with Very Low-redshift C IV Absorbers: A Case with Cold-accretion Characteristics

Joseph N. Burchett, Todd M. Tripp, Jessica K. Werk, J. Christopher Howk, J. Xavier Prochaska, Amanda Brady Ford, Romeel Davé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Studies of QSO absorber-galaxy connections are often hindered by inadequate information on whether faint/dwarf galaxies are located near the QSO sight lines. To investigate the contribution of faint galaxies to QSO absorber populations, we are conducting a deep galaxy redshift survey near low-z C IV absorbers. Here we report a blindly detected C IV absorption system (z abs = 0.00348) in the spectrum of PG1148+549 that appears to be associated either with an edge-on dwarf galaxy with an obvious disk (UGC 6894, z gal = 0.00283) at an impact parameter of ρ = 190 kpc or with a very faint dwarf irregular galaxy at ρ = 23 kpc, which is closer to the sightline but has a larger redshift difference (z gal = 0.00107, i.e., δv = 724 km s-1). We consider various gas/galaxy associations, including infall and outflows. Based on current theoretical models, we conclude that the absorber is most likely tracing (1) the remnants of an outflow from a previous epoch, a so-called "ancient outflow", or (2) intergalactic gas accreting onto UGC 6894, "cold mode" accretion. The latter scenario is supported by H I synthesis imaging data that shows the rotation curve of the disk being codirectional with the velocity offset between UGC 6894 and the absorber, which is located almost directly along the major axis of the edge-on disk. Based on observations obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope operated at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Also, based on data acquired using the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the US, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona, on behalf of the Arizona University System; Instituto Nazionale do Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute of Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; Ohio State University, and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Virginia. Observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: halos
  • galaxies: interactions
  • intergalactic medium
  • quasars: absorption lines


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