The UV spectrum of HS 1700+6416
II. FUSE observations of the He II Lyman alpha forest
Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany e-mail: [cfechner;dreimers;rbaade]@hs.uni-hamburg.de
2 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Department of Physics & Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
4 Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Geology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA
5 Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, 933 N. Cherry, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
6 Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7, Canada
7 Present address: Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences, Towson University, Towson, Maryland 21252, USA
8 CASA, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
9 MIT Center for Space Research, 77 Massachusetts Ave. 37-664B, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
10 Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Accepted: 28 April 2006
Aims.We present the far-UV spectrum of the quasar HS 1700+6416 taken with FUSE. This QSO provides the second line of sight with the absorption resolved into a Lyα forest structure. Since HS 1700+6416 is slightly less redshifted () than HE 2347-4342, we only probe the post-reionization phase of , seen in the evolution of the opacity, which is consistent with a simple power law.
Methods.The / ratio η is estimated using a line profile-fitting procedure and an apparent optical depth approach, respectively. The expected metal line absorption in the far-UV is taken into account as well as molecular absorption of galactic H2. About 27% of the η values are affected by metal line absorption. In order to investigate the applicability of the analysis methods, we create simple artificial spectra based on the statistical properties of the Lyα forest.
Results. The analysis of the artificial data demonstrates that the apparent optical depth method as well as the line profile-fitting procedure lead to confident results for restricted data samples only ( and , respectively). The reasons are saturation in the case of the apparent optical depth and thermal line widths in the case of the profile fits. Furthermore, applying the methods to the unrestricted data set may mimic a correlation between the ratio and the strength of the absorption. For the restricted data samples a scatter of % in η would be expected even if the underlying value is constant. The observed scatter is significantly larger than expected, indicating that the intergalactic radiation background is indeed fluctuating. In the redshift range , where the data quality is best, we find , suggesting a contribution of soft sources like galaxies to the UV background.
Key words: cosmology: observations / galaxies: quasars: absorption lines / galaxies: quasars: individual: HS 1700+6416
© ESO, 2006