Extended and broad Lyman alpha emission around a BAL quasar at z~5 [GA]


In this work we report deep MUSE observations of a Broad Absorption Line (BAL) quasar at z ~ 5, revealing a Lyman alpha nebula with a maximum projected linear size of ~ 60 kpc around the quasar (down to our 2-sigma SB limit per layer of ~ 9e-19 erg/s/cm^2/arcsec^2 for a 1 arcsec^2 aperture). After correcting for the cosmological surface brightness dimming, we find that our nebula, at z ~ 5, has an intrinsically less extended Lyman alpha emission than nebulae at lower redshift. However, such a discrepancy is greatly reduced when referring to comoving distances, which take into account the cosmological growth of dark matter (DM) haloes, suggesting a positive correlation between the size of Lyman alpha nebulae and the sizes of DM haloes/structures around quasars. Differently from the typical nebulae around radio-quiet non-BAL quasars, in the inner regions (~ 10 kpc) of the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of our source, the velocity dispersion of the Lyman alpha emission is very high (FWHM > 1000 km/s), suggesting that in our case we may be probing outflowing material associated with the quasar.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Ginolfi, R. Maiolino, S. Carniani, et. al.
Tue, 13 Feb 18

Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS