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Hubble Space Telescope Narrowband Search for Extended Lyα Emission around Two z > 6 Quasars

Decarli, Roberto and Walter, Fabian and Yang, Yujin and Carilli, Chris L. and Fan, Xiaohui and Hennawi, Joseph F. and Kurk, Jaron and Riechers, Dominik and Rix, Hans-Walter and Strauss, Michael A. and Venemans, Bram P. (2012) Hubble Space Telescope Narrowband Search for Extended Lyα Emission around Two z > 6 Quasars. Astrophysical Journal, 756 (2). Art. No. 150. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/756/2/150.

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We search for extended Lyα emission around two z > 6 quasars, SDSS J1030+0524 (z = 6.309) and SDSS J1148+5251 (z = 6.419) using Wide Field Camera 3 narrowband filters on board the Hubble Space Telescope. For each quasar, we collected two deep, narrowband images, one sampling the Lyα line+continuum at the quasar redshifts and one of the continuum emission redward of the line. After carefully modeling the point-spread function, we find no evidence for extended Lyα emission. These observations set 2σ limits of L(Lyα, extended) <3.2 × 10^(44) erg s^(–1) for J1030+0524 and L(Lyα, extended) <2.5 × 10^(44) erg s^(–1) for J1148+5251. Given the star formation rates typically inferred from (rest-frame) far-infrared measurements of z ~ 6 quasars, these limits are well below the intrinsic bright Lyα emission expected from the recombination of gas photoionized by the quasars or by the star formation in the host galaxies, and point toward significant Lyα suppression or dust attenuation. However, small extinction values have been observed along the line of sight to the nuclei, thus reddening has to be coupled with other mechanisms for Lyα suppression (e.g., resonance scattering). No Lyα emitting companions are found, down to a 5σ sensitivity of ~1 × 10^(–17) erg s^(–1) cm^(–2) arcsec^(–2) (surface brightness) and ~5 × 10^(–17) erg s^(–1) cm^(–2) (assuming point sources).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Decarli, Roberto0000-0002-2662-8803
Walter, Fabian0000-0003-4793-7880
Yang, Yujin0000-0003-3078-2763
Carilli, Chris L.0000-0001-6647-3861
Fan, Xiaohui0000-0003-3310-0131
Hennawi, Joseph F.0000-0002-7054-4332
Riechers, Dominik0000-0001-9585-1462
Rix, Hans-Walter0000-0003-4996-9069
Strauss, Michael A.0000-0002-0106-7755
Venemans, Bram P.0000-0001-9024-8322
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 April 18; accepted 2012 July 5; published 2012 August 23. We thank the anonymous referee for useful comments which improved the quality of themanuscript.We thank C. Leipski and E. Lusso for fruitful discussions on the quasar SEDs. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant HST-GO-11640 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. R.D. acknowledges funding from Germany’s national research center for aeronautics and space (DLR, project FKZ 50 OR 1104). X.F. acknowledges support from NSF grant AST 08-06861 and a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship. M.A.S. acknowledges support of NSF grant AST-0707266.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)FKZ 50 OR 1104
NSFAST 08-06861
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: formation; galaxies: halos; quasars: general; quasars: individual (J1030+0524, J1148+5251)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121106-101421012
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Official Citation:Hubble Space Telescope Narrowband Search for Extended Lyα Emission around Two z > 6 Quasars Roberto Decarli et al. 2012 ApJ 756 150
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35300
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:06 Nov 2012 19:14
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:14

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