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Session 40 - The Interstellar Medium.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
We are involved in a program to investigate the relationship between damped Ly\alpha absorption systems and the interstellar medium of our own galaxy and nearby galaxies. This ultimately requires the proper identification of the systems responsible for the absorption so that a connection may be drawn between the absorption characteristics and the physical characteristics of the absorber, such as galaxy morphology, size, brightness, and separation from the QSO line of sight (see Jim amp; Roth, Kolhatkar et al., and Roth et al. also presenting here).
PKS 1756+237 is a relatively bright QSO (m_V\approx18.0) with an emission redshift of z=1.721. There are two strong intervening absorption line systems at redshifts of 1.426 and 1.673. Both systems exhibit strong low-ionization lines, and so are believed to originate in the inner regions of galactic systems at some stage of formation. We obtained two hours of high quality HIRES spectra on the Keck 10m telescope for this QSO in May, 1997. The 6.5 km/s (0.09ÅFWHM) resolution of this data is a ten-fold improvement over existing data, providing kinematic information as well as significantly improved column density measurements. Preliminary analysis of the data suggests the existence of significant Ni II abundance at z=1.67, possibly indicating a damped absorber system. The spectra cover the C II and Si II lines, enabling us to search for associated fine-structure excitation. These spectra also cover several additional low and high-ionization species from which we derive abundance and kinematic information. Images of this QSO, acquired at the UH 2.2m telescope using the QUIRC infrared and Tek2048 optical cameras with UH's tip-tilt system, show possible candidates for absorber systems.
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