Volume 414, Number 1, January IV 2004
|Page(s)||79 - 93|
|Published online||12 January 2004|
The sizes and kinematic structure of absorption systems towards the lensed quasar APM08279+5255*
P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 306, Santiago 22, Chile
2 European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
3 : University of Victoria, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Elliott Building, 3800 Finnerty Rd., Victoria, BC, V8P 1A1, Canada e-mail: email@example.com
4 Observatoire de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l'Université, 67000, Strasbourg, France
5 Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
6 Institute of Astronomy, School of Physics, A 29, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
7 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris – CNRS, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
8 IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 007, India
Corresponding author: S. Ellison, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 October 2003
We have obtained spatially resolved spectra of the triply imaged QSO APM08279+5255 using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We study the line of sight equivalent width (EW) differences and velocity shear of high and low ionization absorbers (including a damped Lyman alpha [DLA] system identified in a spatially unresolved ground based spectrum) in the three lines of sight. The combination of a particularly rich spectrum and three sight-lines allow us to study 27 intervening absorption systems over a redshift range , probing proper transverse dimensions of 30 pc up to 2.7 kpc. We find that high ionization systems (primarily C IV absorbers) do not exhibit strong EW variations on scales <0.4 kpc; their fractional EW differences are typically less than 30%. When combined with previous work on other QSO pairs, we find that the fractional variation increases steadily with separation out to at least ~ kpc. Conversely, low ionization systems (primarily Mg II absorbers) show strong variations (often >80%) over kpc scales. A minimum radius for strong ( Å) Mg II systems of >1.4 kpc is inferred from absorption coincidences in all lines of sight. For weak Mg II absorbers (EW Å), a maximum likelihood analysis indicates a most probable coherence scale of 2.0 kpc for a uniform spherical geometry, with 95% confidence limits ranging between 1.5 and 4.4 kpc. The weak Mg II absorbers may therefore represent a distinct population of smaller galaxies compared with the strong Mg II systems which we know to be associated with luminous galaxies whose halos extend over tens of kpc. Alternatively, the weak systems may reside in the outer parts of larger galaxies, where their filling factor may be lower. By cross-correlating spectra along different lines of sight, we infer shear velocities of typically less than 20 km s-1 for both high and low ionization absorbers. Finally, for systems with weak absorption that can be confidently converted to column densities, we find constant N(C IV)/N(Si IV) across the three lines of sight. Similarly, the [Al/Fe] ratios in the DLA are consistent with solar relative abundances over a transverse distance of ~ kpc.
Key words: quasars: absorption lines / quasars: individual: APM08279+5255 / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / gravitational lensing
© ESO, 2004
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