Evidence for expanding superbubbles in a galaxy at z = 0.7443

Nicholas A. Bond, Christopher W. Churchill, Jane C. Charlton, Steven S. Vogt

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The intervening z = 0.7443 Mg II absorption system in the spectrum of MC 1331 + 170 shows an unusual series of line pairs, each with Δυ ∼ 30 km s-1. These lines could be explained as the shells of expanding superbubbles residing in the outer regions of an edge-on spiral galaxy visible in the optical image of the MC 1331 + 170 field. The color and brightness of this galaxy make it the most likely candidate z = 0.7443 absorber, though two other galaxies in the quasar field could also be contributing to the Mg II absorption profile. Kinematic models of absorption from compact groups and galaxy pairs produce profiles largely inconsistent with the observed Mg II spectrum. Superbubbles would naturally generate more regular structures, such as those observed. Photoionization models of the superbubble shell are consistent with the observed profile for many realistic physical conditions. In a pure superbubble model, the large velocity spread of the Mg II absorption system is inconsistent with the expected spread of a quiescent, rotating disk. This requires unusual kinematics within the host galaxy, perhaps due to a recent interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-769
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Aug 20 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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