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New perspective on galaxy outflows from the first detection of both intrinsic and traverse metal-line absorption

  • Author(s): Kacprzak, GG;
  • Martin, CL;
  • Bouché, N;
  • Churchill, CW;
  • Cooke, J;
  • Lereun, A;
  • Schroetter, I;
  • Ho, SH;
  • Klimek, E
  • et al.

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We present the first observation of a galaxy (z = 0.2) that exhibits metal-line absorption back-illuminated by the galaxy (down-the-barrel) and transversely by a background quasar at a projected distance of 58 kpc. Both absorption systems, traced by Mg II, are blueshifted relative to the galaxy systemic velocity. The quasar sight line, which resides almost directly along the projected minor axis of the galaxy, probes Mg I and Mg II absorption obtained from the Keck/Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer as well as Lyα, Si II, and Si III absorption obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope/Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. For the first time, we combine two independent models used to quantify the outflow properties for down-the-barrel and transverse absorption. We find that the modeled down-the-barrel deprojected outflow velocities range between V dtb = 45-255 km s-1. The transverse bi-conical outflow model, assuming constant-velocity flows perpendicular to the disk, requires wind velocities V outflow = 40-80 km s-1 to reproduce the transverse Mg II absorption kinematics, which is consistent with the range of V dtb. The galaxy has a metallicity, derived from Hα and N II, of [O/H] = -0.21 ± 0.08, whereas the transverse absorption has [X/H] = -1.12 ± 0.02. The galaxy star formation rate is constrained between 4.6-15 M yr-1 while the estimated outflow rate ranges between 1.6-4.2 M yr-1 and yields a wind loading factor ranging between 0.1-0.9. The galaxy and gas metallicities, the galaxy-quasar sight-line geometry, and the down-the-barrel and transverse modeled outflow velocities collectively suggest that the transverse gas originates from ongoing outflowing material from the galaxy. The 1 dex decrease in metallicity from the base of the outflow to the outer halo suggests metal dilution of the gas by the time it reached 58 kpc. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

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