A Multiphase Absorber Containing O VI and Broad H I Directly Tracing 106 K Plasma at Low Redshift Toward HE 0153-4520

Type Journal Article
Names B. D. Savage, A. Narayanan, N. Lehner, B. P. Wakker
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 731
Issue 1
Pages 14
Date April 1, 2011
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011ApJ...731...14S
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract Observations of the QSO HE 0153-4520 (z em = 0.450) with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) from 1134 to 1796 Å with a resolution of ~17 km s-1 and a signal-to-noise ratio per resolution element of 20-40 are used to study a multiphase partial Lyman limit system (LLS) at z = 0.22601 tracing both cool and hot gas. Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer observations of the Lyman limit break yield log N(H I) = 16.61 (0.12, -0.17). The observed UV absorption lines of H I λλ1216 to 926, C III, C II, N III, N II, Si III, and Si II imply the existence of cool photoionized gas in the LLS with log U = -2.8 ± 0.1 and log N(H) = 19.35 ± 0.18, log n H = -2.9 ± 0.2, log T = 4.27 ± 0.02, log (P/k) = 1.75 ± 0.17, and log L (kpc) = 0.70 ± 0.25. The abundances are [X/H] = -0.8 (+0.3, -0.2) for N, Si, and C, but the result is sensitive to the assumed shape of the ionizing background radiation field. The multiphase system has strong O VI and associated broad Lyα absorption (BLA) with log N(O VI) = 14.21 ± 0.02, b(O VI) = 37 ± 1 km s-1, log N(H I) = 13.70 (+0.05, -0.08), b(H I) = 140 (+14, -16) km s-1 and b(H I)/b(O VI) = 3.9 ± 0.4. The O VI does not arise in the cool photoionized gas of the LLS. The O VI and BLA imply the direct detection of thermally broadened absorption by hot gas with log T = 6.07 (+0.09, -0.12), [O/H] = -0.28 (+0.09, -0.08), and log N(H) = 20.41 (+0.13, -0.17). The absorber probably occurs in the circumgalactic environment (halo) of a foreground galaxy. The very high sensitivity of UV absorption line spectroscopy to O VI and thermally broadened H I Lyα now permits the direct detection of hot gas with log T > 6, a determination of the abundance of O/H, and log N(H) in low-redshift intergalactic medium absorption line systems. Based on observations obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and the NASA-CNES/ESA Far-Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer mission operated by Johns Hopkins University, supported by NASA contract NAS 05-32985.
Tags Galaxies: Halos, ULTRAVIOLET: GALAXIES, intergalactic medium
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