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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-08-23 T06:21:25 PDT
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For refcode 2008ApJ...675.1002P:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
2008ApJ...675.1002P The SDSS-DR5 Survey for Proximate Damped Ly-{alpha} Systems Prochaska, Jason X.; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Herbert-Fort, Stephane Abstract. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 5 (SDSS-DR5), we survey proximate damped Ly-{alpha} systems (PDLAs): absorption-line systems with H I column density N_HI_>=2x10^20^ cm^-2^ at velocity separation {delta}v<3000 km s^-1^ from their background quasar. Many of these absorbers may be physically associated with their background quasars, and their statistics allow us to study quasar environments out to z~5. However, the large ionizing flux emitted by a quasar can ionize the neutral gas in a nearby galaxy, possibly giving rise to a "proximity effect," analogous to the similar effect observed in the Ly-{alpha} forest. From a sample of 108 PDLAs, we measure the H I frequency distribution f(N_HI_,X), incidence, and gas mass density of the PDLAs near luminous quasars over the redshift interval z=2.2-5. The incidence and mass density of PDLAs at z~3 is approximately twice that of intervening DLAs, while at z<2.5 and >3.5 the f(N_HI_,X) distribution is enhanced but statistically consistent with the intervening population. We interpret the observed enhancement of PDLAs around quasars in terms of quasar-galaxy clustering and compare the strength of the clustering signal to the expectation from independent measures of the respective clustering strengths of DLAs and quasars, as well as a complementary analysis of the clustering of absorbers around quasars in the transverse direction. We find that there are a factor of 5-10 fewer PDLAs around quasars than expected and interpret this result as evidence for the hypothesis that the ionizing flux from the quasars photoevaporates H I in nearby DLA galaxies, thus reducing their cross section for DLA absorption. This constitutes the first detection of a "proximity effect" for DLAs. Key words: Galaxies: Quasars: Absorption Lines
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