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Connecting the Interstellar Gas and Dust Properties in Distant Galaxies Using Quasar Absorption Systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2016

Monique C. Aller
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, 30460, USA email: maller@georgiasouthern.edu Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
Varsha P. Kulkarni
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
Donald G. York
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA
Daniel E. Welty
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA
Giovanni Vladilo
Affiliation:
Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via Tiepolo 11, I-34143 Trieste, Italy
Debopam Som
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
Kyle Lackey
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
Eli Dwek
Affiliation:
NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
Nassim Beiranvand
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
Sean Morrison
Affiliation:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA
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Abstract

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Gas and dust grains are fundamental components of the interstellar medium and significantly impact many of the physical processes driving galaxy evolution, such as star-formation, and the heating, cooling, and ionization of the interstellar material. Quasar absorption systems (QASs), which trace intervening galaxies along the sightlines to luminous quasars, provide a valuable tool to directly study the properties of the interstellar gas and dust in distant, normal galaxies. We have established the presence of silicate dust grains in at least some gas-rich QASs, and find that they exist at higher optical depths than expected for diffuse gas in the Milky Way. Differences in the absorption feature shapes additionally suggest variations in the silicate dust grain properties, such as in the level of grain crystallinity, from system-to-system. We present results from a study of the gas and dust properties of QASs with adequate archival IR data to probe the silicate dust grain properties. We discuss our measurements of the strengths of the 10 and 18 μm silicate dust absorption features in the QASs, and constraints on the grain properties (e.g., composition, shape, crystallinity) based on fitted silicate profile templates. We investigate correlations between silicate dust abundance, reddening, and gas metallicity, which will yield valuable insights into the history of star formation and chemical enrichment in galaxies.

Type
Poster Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2015 

References

Aller, M.C., Kulkarni, V.P., York, D.G., Vladilo, G., Welty, D.E., & Som, D. 2012, ApJ, 748, 19 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Chiar, J.E., & Tielens, A.G.G.M. 2006, ApJ, 637, 774 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jäger, C., Molster, F.J., Dorschner, J., Henning, Th., Mutschke, H., & Waters, L.B.F.M. 1998, A&A, 339, 904 Google ScholarPubMed
Kulkarni, V.P., Torres-Garcia, L.M., Som, D., York, D.G., Welty, D.E., & Vladilo, G. 2011, ApJ, 726, 14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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