NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0398

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0398


PI: Adam Myers, University of Wyoming, geordiemyers@gmail.com
Address: Physics Department, 1000 E. University, Dept. 3905, Laramie, WY 82071, USA

CoI: J. Xavier Prochaska, UCO/Lick Observatory
CoI: Joseph Hennawi, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie
CoI: Kate Rubin, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie

Title: Characterizing the Circumgalactic Medium of Low and High Mass Galaxies with Close Quasar Pairs

Abstract: We have mined the SDSS and discovered a sample of rare close QSO pairs at z=2-4 with small transverse separations 30-300 \rm kpc (3-30\arcsec). These unique sightlines probe the %allow us to study the physical state of the circumgalactic medium (CGM) around galaxies hosted by low-mass (\lesssim10^11\msol) and very high-mass (\gtrsim10^13\msol) dark matter halos for the first time. Low-mass halos are traced by intervening damped Ly(alpha) absorption (DLA) in one of the sightlines, such that the neighboring sightline probes the CGM of the DLA-galaxy. Similarly, with projected QSO pairs, absorption in the \emphbackground QSO spectra encodes information about the CGM of the \emphforeground QSOs, which are signposts for massive galaxies. We propose to obtain a statistical sample (~50) of spectra with Gemini/GMOS-S and MMT/Blue Channel to measure cool gas kinematics, %abundances, and cold gas masses, spatial distribution, and covering fraction to distances < 300 kpc. These observations will provide %a direct test of the cosmological `cold accretion' picture new constraints on the cool gas supply and the physical effects of feedback around both low-mass galaxies and massive QSO hosts. %\bf[Some more space here]


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