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A VLT/MUSE galaxy survey towards QSO Q1410: looking for a WHIM traced by BLAs in inter-cluster filaments

Pessa, Ismael and Tejos, Nicolas and Barrientos, L. Felipe and Werk, Jessica and Bielby, Richard and Padilla, Nelson and Morris, Simon L. and Prochaska, J. Xavier and Lopez, Sebastian and Hummels, Cameron (2018) A VLT/MUSE galaxy survey towards QSO Q1410: looking for a WHIM traced by BLAs in inter-cluster filaments. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 477 (3). pp. 2991-3013. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Cosmological simulations predict that a significant fraction of the low-z baryon budget resides in large-scale filaments in the form of a diffuse plasma at temperatures T ∼ 10^5 – 10^7 K. However, direct observation of this so-called warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM) has been elusive. In the Λcold dark matter paradigm, galaxy clusters correspond to the nodes of the cosmic web at the intersection of several large-scale filamentary threads. In previous work, we used HST/COS data to conduct the first survey of broad H I  Lyα absorbers (BLAs) potentially produced by WHIM in inter-cluster filaments. We targeted a single QSO, namely Q1410, whose sightline intersects seven independent inter-cluster axes at impact parameters <3 Mpc (comoving), and found a tentative excess of a factor of ∼4 with respect to the field. Here, we further investigate the origin of these BLAs by performing a blind galaxy survey within the Q1410 field using VLT/MUSE. We identified 77 sources and obtained the redshifts for 52 of them. Out of the total sample of seven BLAs in inter-cluster axes, we found three without any galaxy counterpart to stringent luminosity limits (∼4 × 10^8 L⊙∼0.01 L*), providing further evidence that these BLAs may represent genuine WHIM detections. We combined this sample with other suitable BLAs from the literature and inferred the corresponding baryon mean density for these filaments in the range Ω^(fil)_(bar)=0.02−0.04. Our rough estimates are consistent with the predictions from numerical simulations but still subject to large systematic uncertainties, mostly from the adopted geometry, ionization corrections, and density profile.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Prochaska, J. Xavier0000-0002-7738-6875
Hummels, Cameron0000-0002-3817-8133
Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2018 March 15. Received 2018 March 15; in original form 2017 November 20. Published: 17 March 2018. Our results are based on observations collected at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern hemisphere under ESO programme 094.A-0575(C). Some of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope under programme GO 12958, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute and from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. We thank the referee, John Stocke, for providing valuable comments and criticism that improved the paper. IP and NT acknowledge support from CONICYT PAI/82140055. We thank contributors to SciPy, Matplotlib, Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013), and the PYTHON programming language; the free and open-source community; and the NASA Astrophysics Data System for software and services. We also thank contributors to linetools (Prochaska et al. 2016) and PYMUSE (Pessa, Tejos & Moya 2018), both open-source PYTHON packages recently developed and used in this work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)PAI/82140055
Subject Keywords:methods: observational – techniques: spectroscopic – intergalactic medium – quasars: absorption lines – large-scale structure of Universe
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180620-150838162
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Official Citation:Ismael Pessa, Nicolas Tejos, L Felipe Barrientos, Jessica Werk, Richard Bielby, Nelson Padilla, Simon L Morris, J Xavier Prochaska, Sebastian Lopez, Cameron Hummels; A VLT/MUSE galaxy survey towards QSO Q1410: looking for a WHIM traced by BLAs in inter-cluster filaments, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 477, Issue 3, 1 July 2018, Pages 2991–3013,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87273
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Jun 2018 22:17
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:54

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