The FLASHES survey I: Integral field spectroscopy of the CGM around 48 z ' 2.3 − 3.1 QSOs

Donal B. O'Sullivan, Christopher Martin, Mateusz Matuszewski, Keri Hoadley, Erika Hamden, James D. Neill, Zeren Lin, Prachi Parihar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the pilot study component of the Fluorescent Lyman-Alpha Structures in High-z Environments (FLASHES) Survey; the largest integral-field spectroscopy survey to date of the circumgalactic medium at z = 2.3 − 3.1. We observed 48 quasar fields between 2015 and 2018 with the Palomar Cosmic Web Imager (Matuszewski et al. (2010)). Extended HI Lyman-α emission is discovered around 42/48 of the observed quasars, ranging in projected, flux-weighted radius from 21−71 proper kiloparsecs (pkpc), with 26 nebulae exceeding 100 pkpc in effective diameter. The circularly averaged surface brightness radial profile peaks at a maximum of 1 × 1017 erg s1 cm2 arcsec2 (2 × 1015 erg s1 cm2 arcsec2 adjusted for cosmological dimming) and luminosities range from 1.9×1043 erg s1 to −14.1×1043 erg s1. The emission appears to have a highly eccentric morphology and a maximum covering factor of 50% (60% for giant nebulae). On average, the nebular spectra are red-shifted with respect to both the systemic redshift and Lyα peak of the quasar spectrum. The integrated spectra of the nebulae mostly have single or double-peaked line shapes with global dispersions ranging from 167 km s1 to 690 km s1, though the individual (Gaussian) components of lines with complex shapes mostly appear to have dispersions ≤ 400 km s1, and the flux-weighted velocity centroids of the lines vary by thousands of km s1 with respect to the systemic QSO redshifts. Finally, the root-mean-square velocities of the nebulae are found to be consistent with gravitational motions expected in dark matter halos of mass Mh ' 1012.5M☉. We compare these results to existing surveys at both higher and lower redshift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Nov 25 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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