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T. Wiklind (ESA/STScI), F. Combes (Observatoire de Paris)
We report the detection of the H2O molecule in absorption at a redshift of z=0.89 in front of the gravitationally lensed quasar PKS1830-211. We detect the fundamental transition of ortho-water, with a restframe frequency of 556.93 GHz. The observations were done with the 12m APEX telescope on Chajtnantor in Chile as a Science Verification project. The absorption profile suggests that the transition is optically thick, with an extent over the background continuum source similar to that of CO and HCO+. The molecular gas containing water vapor molecules is therefore likely to be extended over scales of several parsecs. We acknowledge the great work done by the APEX Team in making these observations possible.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.