Volume 397, Number 3, January III 2003
|Page(s)||891 - 898|
|Published online||21 January 2003|
Caught in the act: A helium-reionizing quasar near the line of sight to Q0302-003*
Astrophysics Division, RSSD, European Space Agency, ESTEC, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ 85287-1504, USA
3 Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl 12, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
Corresponding author: P. Jakobsen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 30 October 2002
We report the discovery of a quasar at , closely coincident in redshift with the isolated low-opacity feature seen near in the otherwise black portion of the Gunn-Peterson absorption trough seen toward the background quasar Q0302-003, located away on the sky. We explore plausible models for the ionization zone created by this neighboring quasar and its interception with the line of sight toward Q0302-003. At its present brightness of and separation of Mpc, the quasar can readily account for the opacity gap in the absorption spectrum of Q0302-003, provided it has been active for y. This is the first clear example of the “transverse” proximity effect and the association of a quasar with its imprint on the intervening absorption detected along an adjacent line of sight.
Key words: quasars: individual: QSO 03020-0014, Q0302-003 / quasars: absorption lines / intergalactic medium
© ESO, 2003
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