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Session 122 - Galaxies, Clusters of Galaxies & IGM.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10

[122.05] Iron--Enhanced High--Metallicity Mg II Absorbers in the z<1 Ly\alpha Forest

C. W. Churchill (Penn State), V. L. Brun (LAS du CNRS)

We report the discovery of two iron-group enhanced high-metallicity Mg II absorbers in a search through 28 Lyman Alpha forest clouds along the PKS 0454+039 sight line. Based upon our survey and the measured redshift number densities of W_r(MgII) < 0.3 A absorbers and Lyman Alpha absorbers at z ~ 1, we suggest that roughly 5% of Lyman Alpha absorbers at z < 1 will exhibit "weak" Mg II absorption to a 5-sigma W_r(2796) detection limit of 0.02 A. The two discovered absorbers, at redshifts z = 0.6248 and z = 0.9315, have W_r(Lya) = 0.33 and 0.15 A, respectively. Based upon photoionization modeling, the H I column densities are inferred to be in the range $15.8 < log N(HI) < 16.8 cm^-2. For the z = 0.6428 absorber, if the abundance pattern is solar, then the cloud has [Fe/H] > -1; if its gas-phase abundance follows that of depleted clouds in our Galaxy, then [Fe/H] > 0 is inferred. For the z = 0.9315 absorber, the metallicity is [Fe/H] > 0, whether the abundance pattern is solar or suffers depletion.

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