Discovery of an Enormous Ly α Nebula in a Massive Galaxy Overdensity at z = 2.3
Prochaska, J. Xavier
McGreer, Ian D.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationDiscovery of an Enormous Ly α Nebula in a Massive Galaxy Overdensity at z = 2.3 2017, 837 (1):71 The Astrophysical Journal
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractEnormous Ly alpha nebulae (ELANe), unique tracers of galaxy density peaks, are predicted to lie at the nodes and intersections of cosmic filamentary structures. Previous successful searches for ELANe have focused on wide-field narrowband surveys or have targeted known sources such as ultraluminous quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) or radio galaxies. Utilizing groups of coherently strong Ly alpha absorptions, we have developed a new method to identify high-redshift galaxy overdensities and have identified an extremely massive overdensity, BOSS1441, at z = 2-3. In its density peak, we discover an ELAN that is associated with a relatively faint continuum. To date, this object has the highest diffuse Ly alpha nebular luminosity of L-nebula = 5.1 +/- 0.1 x 10(44) erg s(-1). Above the 2 sigma surface brightness limit of SBLy alpha = 4.8 x 10(-18) erg s(-1) cm(-2) arcsec(-2), this nebula has an end-to-end spatial extent of 442 kpc. This radio-quiet source also has extended C IV lambda 1549 and He II lambda 1640 emission on greater than or similar to 30 kpc scales. Note that the Ly alpha, He II, and C IV emissions all have double-peaked line profiles. Each velocity component has an FWHM of approximate to 700-1000 km s(-1). We argue that this Lya nebula could be powered by shocks due to an active galactic nucleus-driven outflow or photoionization by a strongly obscured source.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsUS NSF [AST 11-07682]; NSF [AST-1412981, AST-0908280]; National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) - Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning [NRF 2016R1C1B2007782]; NASA [ADP-NNX10AD47G]; Swiss National Science Foundation [PP00P2_163824]; JSPS [15H03645]; Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatory [2013A-0434, 2014A-0395]