NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008A-0362

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Proposal Information for 2008A-0362


PI: Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, University of Florida, paola@astro.ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States

CoI: Fred Hamann, University of Florida
CoI: Daniel Nestor, University of Cambridge
CoI: Joseph Shields, Ohio University

Title: High Velocity Outflows in Quasars

Abstract: High velocity (HV) outflows are an important but poorly understood aspect of quasar/SMBH evolution. Outflows during the luminous accretion phase might play a critical role in ``unveiling" young dusty AGN and regulating star formation in the host galaxies. They might even be essential to carry angular momentum away from the accretion disk. Most quasar studies have focussed on the broad absorption lines (BALs). We are involved in a program to study a nearly unexplored realm of quasar outflow parameter space: HV winds with v>10,000 km/s up to v~ 0.2c but small velocity dispersions (narrow absorption lines), such that (Delta) v/v \ll 1. Narrow-line HV flows merit specific attention because they complement the BAL work and pose unique challenges for models of the wind acceleration, mass loss rates, launch radii, geometry, etc. They might also be common, e.g., accounting for a significant fraction of the narrow absorption lines previously attributed to unrelated (intervening) gas or galaxies. We have selected the brightest quasars at z>2 with candidate narrow HV outflow lines (CIV 1548 A) in existing SDSS spectra. We now request 2.1m GoldCam observations to monitor and expand the sample of confirmed narrow-line HV outflows. The main goals are to i) characterize, for the first time, the variability in a sample of absorbers spanning a wide range of velocities and FWHMs, including some marginal BALs, ii) identify/confirm more of the true outflow systems, e.g., among the more ambiguous narrow lines, and iii) test the wind models and derive better constraints on basic outflow properties, such as the kinematics, locations, and physical conditions.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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