Discovery of an H SPAN CLASS="sml" i-rich Gas Reservoir in the Outskirts of SZ-effect-selected Clusters

Sowgat Muzahid, Jane Charlton, Daisuke Nagai, Joop Schaye, Raghunathan Srianand

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We report on the detection of three strong H i absorbers originating in the outskirts (i.e., impact parameter, (1.6-4.7)r 500) of three massive ( M o) clusters of galaxies at redshift , in the Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (HST/COS) spectra of three background UV-bright quasars. These clusters were discovered by the 2500 deg2 South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect survey. All three COS spectra show a partial Lyman limit absorber with N(H i) >1016.5 cm-2 near the photometric redshifts () of the clusters. The compound probability of the random occurrence of all three absorbers is <0.02%, indicating that the absorbers are most likely related to the targeted clusters. We find that the outskirts of these SZ-selected clusters are remarkably rich in cool gas compared to existing observations of other clusters in the literature. The effective Doppler parameters of the Lyman series lines, obtained using a single-cloud curve-of-growth (COG) analysis, suggest a nonthermal/turbulent velocity of a few×10 km s-1 in the absorbing gas. We emphasize the need for uniform galaxy surveys around these fields and for more UV observations of quasar-cluster pairs in general in order to improve the statistics and gain further insights into the unexplored territory of the largest collapsed cosmic structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL8
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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