Imaging of Quasar Absorber Systems

Phase 1 Proposal

Prop. Type: GTO/NICMOS
Sci Categ: QAL (Quasar Absorption Lines)
ID: NC36
Title: Imaging of Quasar Absorber Systems
PI: J. M. Hill (University of Arizona)
Orbits: 23

We propose using HST and the coronagraphic mode of NICMOS to detect emission from the galaxies or proto-galaxies which cause the damped Lyman-alpha absorption line systems in the spectra of quasars. The sample of three quasars has been selected so that we may obtain not only a deep image in filter F160W, but also narrow-line images in filters which correspond to H-alpha at the redshift of the absorber, F187N or F190N (and in one instance [OII]3727 in F108N). H-alpha emission would confirm any detection of the absorber and may also provide a redshift for any companions of the absorber system. The broadband exposures are selected to detect a galaxy with luminosity of 0.2 H* at the absorber redshift or 0.5 H* at the quasar redshift. Some of the exposures are taken outside the coronagraph aperture to get a good profile of the quasar and to sample the region covered by the occulting mask. The narrowband exposures are selected to detect an H-alpha flux corresponding to 5-10 solar masses per year of star formation in an absorber galaxy. Coordinated parallel images in both narrow and broad bands will be used to search for companions in adjacent fields at the same redshift as the absorber.

Keywords: galaxies, quasars, quasar absorption lines

Target List: QSO1244+3443, LBQS2230+0232, LBQS1210+1731

John Hill <>
Last modified: Mon Jul 1 17:20:27 1996