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V.P. Kulkarni (Clemson University), J.M. Hill (University of Arizona), G. Schneider (University of Arizona), R.J. Weymann (OCIW), L.J. Storrie-Lombardi (SIRTF Sci. Cent., Caltech), M.J. Rieke (University of Arizona), R.I. Thompson (University of Arizona), B. Jannuzi (NOAO)
We report results of a deep high-resolution imaging search for the galaxy associated with the damped Lyman-\alpha (DLA) absorber at z=1.859 toward the zem=2.48 quasar QSO 1244+3443, using HST/NICMOS. The observations consisted of NICMOS camera 2 images in the broad filter F160W and the narrow filter F187N. The goal of these observations was to detect redshifted optical continuum and H-\alpha line emission from the DLA absorber. After PSF subtraction, the broad band image shows the possible presence of a compact object at only 0.16" from the quasar center. The PSF-subtracted narrow band image shows no significant emission from any source. These observations of QSO 1244+3443, together with our earlier NICMOS observations of LBQS 1210+1731, suggest that these DLAs have low star formation rates and may be compact objects or low-surface brightness objects with a few knots of continuum emission.
This work was supported by NASA grant NAG 5-3042 to the NICMOS Instrument Definition Team.