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Session 40 - The Interstellar Medium.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
Atlas Ballroom,

[40.03] Imaging of Damped Ly-alpha Absorbers

K. T. C. Jim, K. C. Roth (IfA, U. Hawaii)

Intervening H I gas clouds toward QSOs give rise to damped Ly-\alpha absorption. Because of the high column density (N(H I)\geq 2\times10^20 cm^-2) these systems have been thought to be galactic disks in some stage of formation. However, because potential optical counterparts have not been identified for most damped Ly-\alpha systems, it is possible that some of the absorbing systems could be dwarf irregular galaxies or low surface brightness galaxies, and are thus difficult to image. In any case, the absorbers are expected to have small angular separation from the QSOs, and so high resolution imaging is required to differentiate the absorbers from the QSOs. Because previous studies have not shown any dominant morphological form for the few candidate objects known, our images are obtained with the Hawaii tip-tilt system in order to achieve the best possible morphological classification. By imaging in the NIR and optical bands that bracket the 4000 Åbreak of these Ly-\alpha absorbers, we can more readily select candidate objects by photometrically constraining their redshifts. In our sample of 14 QSOs with abosorbers from 1

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Program listing for Tuesday