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Identification of a galaxy responsible for a high-redshift Lyman-α absorption system

Djorgovski, S. G. and Pahre, M. A. and Bechtold, J. (1996) Identification of a galaxy responsible for a high-redshift Lyman-α absorption system. Nature, 382 (6588). pp. 234-236. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/382234a0.

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Damped Lyman-α systems are high-column-density intergalactic clouds of hydrogen, the existence of which is inferred from absorption lines appearing in the emission spectra of distant quasars. The galaxies believed to be responsible for these absorption systems have been suggested as possible progenitors of the normal disk galaxies observed in the local Universe. Indeed, Lyman-α systems appear to contain a substantial fraction of the baryons known to exist in galaxies today. Here we report the optical detection of a galaxy (designated DLA2233 + 131) associated with a known damped Lyman-α absorption system at a redshift of z = 3.150. The properties of this galaxy correspond closely to those expected of a young disk galaxy in the early stages of formation, and show no evidence for an active nucleus. This finding gives strong support to the idea that damped Lyman-α systems represent a population of young galaxies at high red-shifts.

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Djorgovski, S. G.0000-0002-0603-3087
Alternate Title:Identification of a Galaxy Responsible for a High-Redshift Damped Ly-alpha Absorption System
Additional Information:© 1996 Nature Publishing Group. Received 1 February; accepted 21 May 1996. This work was based in part on the observations obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. We thank the staff of Keck and Palomar observatories for their help during our observing runs, and C. Steidel, L. Lu and M. Rauch for useful conversations. S.G.D. was supported by the US National Science Foundation, and the Bressler Foundation.
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Bressler FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6588
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150610-133832770
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58167
Deposited On:10 Jun 2015 21:19
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