Volume 451, Number 1, May III 2006
|Page(s)||45 - 56|
|Published online||25 April 2006|
Variation of the fine-structure constant: very high resolution spectrum of QSO HE 0515-4414
IUCAA, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 007, India e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, UMR7095 CNRS, Université Pierre & Marie Curie, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
3 LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, 61 rue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
4 Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, 710 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003-9305, USA
5 Hamburger Sternwarte, Universitat Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21209 Hamburg, Germany
Accepted: 29 December 2005
Aims.We present a detailed analysis of a very high resolution () spectrum of the quasar HE 0515-4414 obtained using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) mounted on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at the La Silla observatory. The main aim is to use a HARPS spectrum of very high wavelength calibration accuracy (better than 1 mÅ), to constrain the variation of and investigate any possible systematic inaccuracies in the wavelength calibration of the UV Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) mounted on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Methods.A cross-correlation analysis between the Th-Ar lamp spectra obtained with HARPS and UVES is carried out to detect any possible shift between the two spectra. Absolute wavelength calibration accuracies, and how that translates into the uncertainties in are computed using Gaussian fits for both lamp spectra. The value of at zabs = 1.1508 is obtained using the many multiplet method and simultaneous Voigt profile fits of HARPS and UVES spectra.
Results.We find the shift between the HARPS and UVES spectra has a mean around zero with a dispersion of mÅ. This is shown to be well within the wavelength calibration accuracy of UVES (i.e. mÅ). We show that the uncertainties in the wavelength calibration induce an error of about in determining the variation of the fine-structure constant. Thus, the results of non-evolving reported in the literature based on UVES/VLT data should not be heavily influenced by problems related to wavelength calibration uncertainties. Our higher resolution spectrum of the zabs = 1.1508 Damped Lyman-α system toward HE 0515-4414 reveals more components compared to the UVES spectrum. Using only Fe ii lines of the zabs = 1.1508 system, we obtain . This result is consistent with the earlier measurement for this system using the UVES spectrum alone.
© ESO, 2006
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