Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 615A, 43-43 (2018/7-1)
A quasar hiding behind two dusty absorbers. Quantifying the selection bias of metal-rich, damped Lyα absorption systems.
HEINTZ K.E., FYNBO J.P.U., LEDOUX C., JAKOBSSON P., MOLLER P., CHRISTENSEN L., GEIER S., KROGAGER J.-K. and NOTERDAEME P.
Abstract (from CDS):
The cosmic chemical enrichment as measured from damped Lyα absorbers (DLAs) will be underestimated if dusty and metal-rich absorbers have evaded identification. Here we report the discovery and present the spectroscopic observations of a quasar, KV-RQ 1500-0031, at z=2.520 reddened by a likely dusty DLA at z=2.428 and a strong MgII absorber at z=1.603. This quasar was identified as part of the KiDS-VIKING Red Quasar (KV-RQ) survey, specifically aimed at targeting dusty absorbers which may cause the background quasars to escape the optical selection of e.g. the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar sample. For the DLA we find an HI column density of logN(HI)=21.2±0.1 and a metallicity of [X/H]=-0.90±0.20 derived from an empirical relation based on the equivalent width of SiIIλ 1526. We observe a total visual extinction of AV=0.16mag induced by both absorbers. To put this case into context we compile a sample of 17 additional dusty (AV>0.1mag) DLAs toward quasars (QSO-DLAs) from the literature for which we characterize the overall properties, specifically in terms of HI column density, metallicity and dust properties. From this sample we also estimate a correction factor to the overall DLA metallicity budget as a function of the fractional contribution of dusty QSO-DLAs to the bulk of the known QSO-DLA population. We demonstrate that the dusty QSO-DLAs have high metal column densities (logN(HI)+[X/H]) and are more similar to gamma-ray burst (GRB)-selected DLAs (GRB-DLAs) than regular QSO-DLAs. We evaluate the effect of dust reddening in DLAs as well as illustrate how the induced color excess of the underlying quasars can be significant (up to ∼1mag in various optical bands), even for low to moderate extinction values (AV≤0.6mag). Finally we discuss the direct and indirect implications of a significant dust bias in both QSO- and GRB-DLA samples.
© ESO 2018
galaxies: general - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: abundances - quasars: absorption lines - gamma-ray burst: general - dust, extinction
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