DISTRIBUTION of COLD (≲300 K) ATOMIC GAS in GALAXIES: RESULTS from the GBT H

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Abstract

We present the Green Bank Telescope absorption survey of cold atomic hydrogen (≲300 K) in the inner halo of low-redshift galaxies. The survey aims to characterize the cold gas distribution and to address where the condensation - the process where ionized gas accreted by galaxies condenses into cold gas within the disks of galaxies - occurs. Our sample consists of 16 galaxy-quasar pairs with impact parameters of ≤20 kpc. We detected an H i absorber associated with J0958+3222 (NGC 3067) and H i emission from six galaxies. We also found two Ca ii absorption systems in the archival SDSS data associated with galaxies J0958+3222 and J1228+3706. Our detection rate of H i absorbers with optical depths of ≥0.06 is ∼7%. We also find that the cold H i phase (≲300 K) is 44(18)% of the total atomic gas in the sightline probing J0958+3222. We find no correlation between the peak optical depth and impact parameter or stellar and H i radii normalized impact parameters, ρ/R 90 and ρ/R H i. We conclude that the process of condensation of inflowing gas into cold (≲300 K) H i occurs at the ρ ≪ 20 kpc. However, the warmer phase of neutral gas (T ∼ 1000 K) can exist out to much larger distances, as seen in emission maps. Therefore, the process of condensation of warm to cold H i is likely occurring in stages from ionized to warm H i in the inner halo and then to cold H i very close to the galaxy disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume829
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: halos
  • quasars: absorption lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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