Deep Hubble Space Telescope Imaging on the Extended Ly Emission of a QSO at z = 2.19 with a Damped Lyman Alpha System as a Natural Coronagraph

Jiani Ding, Zheng Cai, J. Xavier Prochaska, H. Finley, Xiaohui Fan, Zheng Zheng, H. Fathivavsari, P. Petitjean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent observations suggest that proximate damped Ly (PDLA) systems can be used to study the host galaxies of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), because the PDLAs can block the bright point-spread function from central QSOs. Using six orbits of narrowband imaging with Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/WFC3, we present the first high-resolution narrowband image of the Ly emission in the PDLA trough of the QSO SDSS J115432.67-021537.9. We detect one major component and one minor component in the narrowband imaging. Combining the ALT="${HST}$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn1.gif"/ /WFC3 imaging with deep Magellan/MagE spectra, we measure that the Ly flux ALT="${F} {\mathrm{Ly}\alpha }$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn2.gif"/ = ALT="$1.56\pm 0.10\,\times {10} {-16}\,\mathrm{erg} {{\rm{s}}} {-1} {\mathrm{cm}} {-2}$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn3.gif"/ , which is among the luminous (≈2.7 ALT="${\text{}}{L} {\mathrm{Ly}\alpha } {\star }$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn4.gif"/ ) Ly emitters at ALT="$z=$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn5.gif"/ 2.19. The ALT="$\mathrm{Ly}\alpha $" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn6.gif"/ -based star formation rate is ∼7 ALT="${M} {\odot } {\mathrm{yr}} {-1}$" SRC="apjlab6169ieqn7.gif"/ . These observational results favor that the star formation from the host galaxy could be the main mechanism powering the Ly emission. This new method sheds light on the study of the kinematic structure and the spatial distribution of the extended Ly emitting regions around the QSO host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL12
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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