PETRY C.E., IMPEY C.D., FENTON J.L. and FOLTZ C.B.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present spectroscopic observations for quasars Q0107-025A, Q0107-025B, and Q0107-0232. For the first time, all data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope's GHRS and FOS for these three quasars are combined. Lyα absorbers selected from the spectra can be used to trace the coherence of the intergalactic medium (IGM) on scales of 1-2 h–170Mpc over the redshift range 0.4<za<0.9. A new analysis of double and triple absorber coincidences derived from the improved spectra is performed. Automated line-selection algorithms were used to detect absorption lines in the QSO spectra; coincident absorbers were identified across two and three sight lines based on their proximity to each other in velocity space. A control simulation designed to generate artificial absorption-line spectra was used to gauge the significance of the coincidences. Four intervening metal-line absorption systems are detected, with three of the four coincident to the A and B sight lines and one coincident across all three sight lines. This is evidence for substantial clustering among the objects responsible for the metal-enriched gas. By contrast, large-scale coherence of the IGM gas is detectable but weak. Fewer than half of the absorbers are coincident on scales of 1-2 h–170Mpc, a result that is significant at the 99% confidence level, and coherence arises preferentially in the higher column density gas. Triple absorber coincidences occur at a level that is significant at the 99% confidence level, which indicates that the higher column density gas has a planar geometry.