NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007A-0309

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Proposal Information for 2007A-0309


PI: Daniel Nestor, University of Cambridge, dbn@ast.cam.ac.uk
Address: Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK

CoI: Sandhya Rao, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: David Turnshek, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Stefano Zibetti, MPE Garching

Title: The galaxies associated with Ultra-strong MgII absorbers

Abstract: We propose to obtain images of ~ 25 fields towards quasars exhibiting ``ultra-strong'' MgII absorption in their spectra at redshifts z \lesssim 0.8. Such systems by definition exhibit strong/saturated low-ion absorption over lower-limit velocity spreads of 300-650 km s^-1. By exploiting huge absorber catalogues from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we are only now able to study these rare systems. Such extreme kinematics in low-ion gas are difficult to reconcile with the galaxy-sightline properties known for weaker systems. It is thought that these systems may have important consequences for star formation, hierarchical galaxy formation, and the distribution of metals into the IGM. We have recently published the first images of ultra-strong MgII absorbers (obtained with WTTM) with interesting initial results. However, the sample (only 15 fields) is yet prohibitively small. WIYN/WTTM is an ideal telescope/instrument with which to pursue this program.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007A-0309

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