5,491 research outputs found

    The QSO evolution derived from the HBQS and other complete QSO surveys

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    An ESO Key programme dedicated to an Homogeneous Bright QSO Survey (HBQS) has been completed. 327 QSOs (Mb<-23, 0.3<z<2.2) have been selected over 555 deg^2 with 15<B<18.75. For B<16.4 the QSO surface density turns out to be a factor 2.2 higher than what measured by the PG survey, corresponding to a surface density of 0.013+/-.006 deg^{-2}. If the Edinburgh QSO Survey is included, an overdensity of a factor 2.5 is observed, corresponding to a density of 0.016+/-0.005 deg^{-2}. In order to derive the QSO optical luminosity function (LF) we used Monte Carlo simulations that take into account of the selection criteria, photometric errors and QSO spectral slope distribution. The LF can be represented with a Pure Luminosity Evolution (L(z)\propto(1+z)^k) of a two power law both for q_0=0.5 and q_0=0.1. For q_0=0.5 k=3.26, slower than the previous Boyle's (1992) estimations of k=3.45. A flatter slope beta=-3.72 of the bright part of the LF is also required. The observed overdensity of bright QSOs is concentrated at z<0.6. It results that in the range 0.3<z<0.6 the luminosity function is flatter than observed at higher redshifts. In this redshift range, for Mb<-25, 32 QSOs are observed instead of 19 expected from our best-fit PLE model. This feature requires a luminosity dependent luminosity evolution in order to satisfactorily represent the data in the whole 0.3<z<2.2 interval.Comment: Invited talk in "Wide Field Spectroscopy" (20-24 May 1996, Athens), eds. M. Kontizas et al. 6 pages and 3 eps figures, LaTex file, uses epfs.sty and crckapb.sty (included

    The Fluctuating Intergalactic Radiation Field at Redshifts z = 2.3-2.9 from He II and H I Absorption towards HE 2347-4342

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    We provide an in-depth analysis of the He II and H I absorption in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at redshifts z = 2.3-2.9 toward HE 2347-4342, using spectra from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and the Ultraviolet-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) on the VLT telescope. Following up on our earlier study (Kriss et al. 2001, Science, 293, 1112), we focus here on two major topics: (1) small-scale variability (Delta z = 10^-3) in the ratio eta = N(He II)/N(H I); and (2) an observed correlation of high-eta absorbers (soft radiation fields) with voids in the (H I) Ly-alpha distribution. These effects may reflect fluctuations in the ionizing sources on scales of 1 Mpc, together with radiative transfer through a filamentary IGM whose opacity variations control the penetration of 1-5 ryd radiation over 30-40 Mpc distances. Owing to photon statistics and backgrounds, we can measure optical depths over the ranges 0.1 < tau(HeII) < 2.3 and 0.02 < tau(HI) < 3.9, and reliably determine values of eta = 4 tau(HeII)/tau(HI) over the range 0.1 to 460. Values of eta = 20-200 are consistent with models of photoionization by quasars with observed spectral indices alpha_s = 0-3. Values of eta > 200 may require additional contributions from starburst galaxies, heavily filtered quasar radiation, or density variations. Regions with eta < 30 may indicate the presence of local hard sources. We find that eta is higher in "void" regions, where H I is weak or undetected and 80% of the path length has eta > 100. These voids may be ionized by soft sources (dwarf starbursts) or by QSO radiation softened by escape from the AGN cores or transfer through the "cosmic web". The apparent differences in ionizing spectra may help to explain the 1.45 Gyr lag between the reionization epochs, z(HI) = 6.2 +/-0.2 and z(HeII) = 2.8 +/-0.2.Comment: 27 pages, 7 figures, to appear in Ap

    The warm circumstellar envelope and wind of the G9 IIb star HR 6902

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    IUE observations of the eclipsing binary system HR 6902 obtained at various epochs spread over four years indicate the presence of warm circumstellar material enveloping the G9 IIb primary. The spectra show Si IV and C IV absorption up to a distance of 3.3 giant radii (R_g}. Line ratio diagnostics yields an electron temperature of ~ 78000 K which appears to be constant over the observed height range. Applying a least square fit absorption line analysis we derive column densities as a function of height. We find that the inner envelope (< 3 R_g) of the bright giant is consistent with a hydrostatic density distribution. The derived line broadening velocity of ~ 70 kms^{-1} is sufficient to provide turbulent pressure support for the required scale height. However, an improved agreement with observations over the whole height regime including the emission line region is obtained with an outflow model. We demonstrate that the common beta power-law as well as a P \propto rho wind yield appropriate fit models. Adopting a continuous mass outflow we obtain a mass-loss rate of M_loss= (0.8 - 3.4)*10^{-11} M_{sun}yr^{-1} depending on the particular wind model.Comment: 11 pages, 8 figures, submitted to Astronomy Astrophysics main Journa

    A rotating helical filament in the L1251 dark cloud

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    (Abridged) Aims. We derive the physical properties of a filament discovered in the dark cometary-shaped cloud L1251. Methods. Mapping observations in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) inversion lines, encompassing 300 positions toward L1251, were performed with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope at a spatial resolution of 40 arcsec and a spectral resolution of 0.045 km/s. Results. The filament L1251A consists of three condensations (alpha, beta, and gamma) of elongated morphology, which are combined in a long and narrow structure covering a 38 arcmin by 3 arcmin angular range. The opposite chirality (dextral and sinistral) of the alpha+beta and gamma condensations indicates magnetic field helicities of two types, negative and positive, which were most probably caused by dynamo mechanisms. We estimated the magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 600 and the Rossby number R < 1, which means that dynamo action is important.Comment: 21 pages, 10 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in A&
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