The cos-halos survey: Rationale, design, and a census of circumgalactic neutral hydrogen

Jason Tumlinson, Christopher Thom, Jessica K. Werk, J. Xavier Prochaska, Todd M. Tripp, Neal Katz, Romeel S Dave, Benjamin D. Oppenheimer, Joseph D. Meiring, Amanda Brady Ford, John M. O'Meara, Molly S. Peeples, Kenneth R. Sembach, David H. Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

160 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the design and methods of the COS-Halos survey, a systematic investigation of the gaseous halos of 44 z = 0.15-0.35 galaxies using background QSOs observed with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. This survey has yielded 39 spectra of z em ≃ 0.5 QSOs with S/N ∼10-15 per resolution element. The QSO sightlines pass within 150 physical kpc of the galaxies, which span early and late types over stellar mass log M */M = 9.5-11.5. We find that the circumgalactic medium exhibits strong H I, averaging ≃ 1 Å in Lyα equivalent width out to 150 kpc, with 100% covering fraction for star-forming galaxies and 75% covering for passive galaxies. We find good agreement in column densities between this survey and previous studies over similar range of impact parameter. There is weak evidence for a difference between early- and late-type galaxies in the strength and distribution of H I. Kinematics indicate that the detected material is bound to the host galaxy, such that ≳ 90% of the detected column density is confined within ±200 km s-1 of the galaxies. This material generally exists well below the halo virial temperatures at T ≲ 105 K. We evaluate a number of possible origin scenarios for the detected material, and in the end favor a simple model in which the bulk of the detected H I arises in a bound, cool, low-density photoionized diffuse medium that is generic to all L* galaxies and may harbor a total gaseous mass comparable to galactic stellar masses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume777
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Fingerprint

census
survey design
halos
hydrogen
galaxies
quasars
harbor
kinematics
stellar mass
coverings
galactic mass
material
harbors
temperature
Hubble Space Telescope
spectrographs
stars

Keywords

  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: halos
  • intergalactic medium
  • quasars: absorption lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Tumlinson, J., Thom, C., Werk, J. K., Prochaska, J. X., Tripp, T. M., Katz, N., ... Weinberg, D. H. (2013). The cos-halos survey: Rationale, design, and a census of circumgalactic neutral hydrogen. Astrophysical Journal, 777(1), [59]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/59

The cos-halos survey : Rationale, design, and a census of circumgalactic neutral hydrogen. / Tumlinson, Jason; Thom, Christopher; Werk, Jessica K.; Prochaska, J. Xavier; Tripp, Todd M.; Katz, Neal; Dave, Romeel S; Oppenheimer, Benjamin D.; Meiring, Joseph D.; Ford, Amanda Brady; O'Meara, John M.; Peeples, Molly S.; Sembach, Kenneth R.; Weinberg, David H.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 777, No. 1, 59, 01.11.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tumlinson, J, Thom, C, Werk, JK, Prochaska, JX, Tripp, TM, Katz, N, Dave, RS, Oppenheimer, BD, Meiring, JD, Ford, AB, O'Meara, JM, Peeples, MS, Sembach, KR & Weinberg, DH 2013, 'The cos-halos survey: Rationale, design, and a census of circumgalactic neutral hydrogen', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 777, no. 1, 59. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/59
Tumlinson, Jason ; Thom, Christopher ; Werk, Jessica K. ; Prochaska, J. Xavier ; Tripp, Todd M. ; Katz, Neal ; Dave, Romeel S ; Oppenheimer, Benjamin D. ; Meiring, Joseph D. ; Ford, Amanda Brady ; O'Meara, John M. ; Peeples, Molly S. ; Sembach, Kenneth R. ; Weinberg, David H. / The cos-halos survey : Rationale, design, and a census of circumgalactic neutral hydrogen. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2013 ; Vol. 777, No. 1.
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abstract = "We present the design and methods of the COS-Halos survey, a systematic investigation of the gaseous halos of 44 z = 0.15-0.35 galaxies using background QSOs observed with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. This survey has yielded 39 spectra of z em ≃ 0.5 QSOs with S/N ∼10-15 per resolution element. The QSO sightlines pass within 150 physical kpc of the galaxies, which span early and late types over stellar mass log M ⊙*/M ⊙ = 9.5-11.5. We find that the circumgalactic medium exhibits strong H I, averaging ≃ 1 {\AA} in Lyα equivalent width out to 150 kpc, with 100{\%} covering fraction for star-forming galaxies and 75{\%} covering for passive galaxies. We find good agreement in column densities between this survey and previous studies over similar range of impact parameter. There is weak evidence for a difference between early- and late-type galaxies in the strength and distribution of H I. Kinematics indicate that the detected material is bound to the host galaxy, such that ≳ 90{\%} of the detected column density is confined within ±200 km s-1 of the galaxies. This material generally exists well below the halo virial temperatures at T ≲ 105 K. We evaluate a number of possible origin scenarios for the detected material, and in the end favor a simple model in which the bulk of the detected H I arises in a bound, cool, low-density photoionized diffuse medium that is generic to all L* galaxies and may harbor a total gaseous mass comparable to galactic stellar masses.",
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