A Statistical Study of Mg II Absorption Selected Galaxies in the SDSS at 0.4

Type Conference Paper
Names Brittney Curtis, B. Lundgren
Proceedings Title American Astronomical Society
Conference Name AAS Meeting #223, #458.13
Date January 1, 2014
URL http://adsabs.org/2014AAS.22345813C
Library Catalog labs.adsabs.harvard.edu
Abstract The spectra of distant quasars frequently exhibit absorption features from singly-ionized magnesium (Mg II), which are understood to trace gas outflow and accretion processes in foreground galaxies. Host galaxies of the Mg II absorbing gas are difficult to detect because they are often faint and have small angular separation from the bright background quasar. We have undertaken a statistical study of low redshift ( 0.4) galaxies identified as potential Mg II absorption hosts which are visible in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Using data from the SDSS DR7, we compiled a census of ~3200 photometrically-identified galaxies within a projected 150 kpc of an Mg II absorbing system. These potential Mg II absorption hosts were then compared to a control sample of galaxies in the foreground of quasars without absorption systems in the same redshift range. We report a positive detection of excess galaxies around the lines of sight to quasars with Mg II absorption systems, extending to ~90 kpc. We present the luminosity distribution of these excess galaxies and compare to previous, smaller studies from the literature. This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation's REU program through NSF Award AST-1004881 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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