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A deep search for metals near redshift 7: the line of sight towards ULAS J1120+0641
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Number of Authors: 8
2017 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 470, no 2, 1919-1934 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a search for metal absorption line systems at the highest redshifts to date using a deep (30 h) Very Large Telescope/X=Shooter spectrum of the z = 7.084 quasi-stellar object (QSO) ULAS J1120+0641. We detect seven intervening systems at z > 5.5, with the highest redshift system being a C IV absorber at z = 6.51. We find tentative evidence that the mass density of C IV remains flat or declines with redshift at z < 6, while the number density of C II systems remains relatively flat over 5 < z < 7. These trends are broadly consistent with models of chemical enrichment by star formation-driven winds that include a softening of the ultraviolet background towards higher redshifts. We find a larger number of weak (W-rest < 0.3 angstrom) Mg II systems over 5.9 < z < 7.0 than predicted by a power-law fit to the number density of stronger systems. This is consistent with trends in the number density of weak Mg II systems at z less than or similar to 2.5, and suggests that the mechanisms that create these absorbers are already in place at z similar to 7. Finally, we investigate the associated narrow Si IV, C IV and N V absorbers located near the QSO redshift, and find that at least one component shows evidence of partial covering of the continuum source.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 470, no 2, 1919-1934 p.
Keyword [en]
intergalactic medium, quasars: absorption lines, quasars: individual: ULAS J1120+0641, dark ages, reionization, first stars
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147044DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1305ISI: 000406839900047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147044DiVA: diva2:1143064
Available from: 2017-09-20 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2017-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Mortlock, Daniel J.
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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