A census of quasar-intrinsic absorption in the Hubble Space Telescope archive: systems from high-resolution echelle spectra

October 2013 • 2013MNRAS.435.1233G

Authors • Ganguly, Rajib • Lynch, Ryan S. • Charlton, Jane C. • Eracleous, Michael • Tripp, Todd M. • Palma, Christopher • Sembach, Kenneth R. • Misawa, Toru • Masiero, Joseph R. • Milutinovic, Nikola • Lackey, Benjamin D. • Jones, Therese M.

Abstract • We present a census of zabs ≲ 2 intrinsic (those showing partial coverage) and associated (zabs ∼ zem) quasar absorption-line systems detected in the Hubble Space Telescope archive of Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph echelle spectra. This work complements the Misawa et al. survey of 2 < zem < 4 quasars that selects systems using similar techniques. We confirm the existence of so-called strong N V intrinsic systems (where the equivalent width of H I Lyα is small compared to N V λ1238) presented in that work, but find no convincing cases of `strong C IV' intrinsic systems at low redshift/luminosity. Moreover, we also report on the existence of `strong O VI' systems. From a comparison of partial coverage results as a function of ion, we conclude that systems selected by the N V ion have the highest probability of being intrinsic. By contrast, the C IV and O VI ions are poor selectors. Of the 30 O VI systems tested, only two of the systems in the spectrum on 3C 351 show convincing evidence for partial coverage. However, there is an ∼3σ excess in the number of absorbers near the quasar redshift (|Δv| ≤ 5000 km s-1) over absorbers at large redshift differences. In at least two cases, the associated O VI systems are known not to arise close to the accretion disc of the quasar.


IPAC Authors


Joe Masiero

Associate Scientist