Extended and broad Ly α emission around a BAL quasar at z ∼ 5

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Ginolfi, Michele 
Battaia, Fabrizio Arrigoni 
Cantalupo, Sebastiano 

In this work we report deep MUSE observations of a broad absorption line (BAL) quasar at z ∼ 5, revealing a Ly α nebula with a maximum projected linear size of ∼60 kpc around the quasar (down to our 2σ SB limit per layer of ∼9×10−19ergs−1cm−2arcsec−2 for a 1 arcsec2 aperture). After correcting for the cosmological surface brightness dimming, we find that our nebula, at z ∼ 5, has an intrinsically less extended Ly α emission than nebulae at lower redshift. However, such a discrepancy is greatly reduced when referring to comoving distances, which take into account the cosmological growth of dark matter (DM) haloes, suggesting a positive correlation between the size of Ly α nebulae and the sizes of DM haloes/structures around quasars. Differently from the typical nebulae around radio-quiet non-BAL quasars, in the inner regions (∼10 kpc) of the circumgalactic medium of our source, the velocity dispersion of the Ly α emission is very high (FWHM > 1000 km s−1), suggesting that in our case we may be probing outflowing material associated with the quasar.

galaxies: haloes, intergalactic medium, quasars: emission lines, quasars: general, cosmology: observations
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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Oxford University Press
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/M001172/1)
European Research Council (695671)
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement no. 306476. RM acknowledges support from the ERC Advanced Grant 695671 ‘QUENCH’. RM and S. Carniani acknowledge support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). S. Cantalupo gratefully acknowledges support from Swiss National Science Foundation grant PP00P2_163824.