Bal phosphorus abundance and evidence for immense ionic column densities in quasar outflows: VLT/X-shooter observations of quasar SDSS J1512+1119

Benoit C.J. Borguet, Doug Edmonds, Nahum Arav, Chris Benn, Carter Chamberlain

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Abstract

We present spectroscopic analysis of the broad absorption line (BAL) outflow in quasar SDSS J1512+1119. In particular, we focus our attention on a kinematic component in which we identify P V and S IV/S IV* absorption troughs. The shape of the unblended phosphorus doublet troughs and the three S IV/S IV* troughs allow us to obtain reliable column density measurements for these two ions. Photoionization modeling using these column densities and those of He I* constrain the abundance of phosphorus to the range of 0.5-4times the solar value. The total column density, ionization parameter, and metallicity inferred from the P V and S IV column densities lead to large optical depth values for the common transition observed in BAL outflows. We show that the true C IV optical depth is 1000times greater in the core of the absorption profile than the value deduced from its apparent optical depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume758
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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