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A Giant Lyα Nebula and a Small-scale Clumpy Outflow in the System of the Exotic Quasar J0952+0114 Unveiled by MUSE

R. A. Marino, S. Cantalupo, G. Pezzulli, S. Lilly, S. G. Gallego, R. Mackenzie, J. Matthee, J. Brinchmann, N. Bouchť, A. Feltre, S. Muzahid, I. Schroetter, Sean D. Johnson, T. Nanayakkara

The well-known quasar SDSS J095253.83+011421.9 (J0952+0114) at z = 3.02 has one of the most peculiar spectra discovered so far, showing the presence of narrow Lyα and broad metal emission lines. Although recent studies have suggested that a proximate damped Lyα absorption (PDLA) system causes this peculiar spectrum, the origin of the gas associated with the PDLA is unknown. Here we report the results of observations with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) that reveal a new giant (≈100 physical kpc) Lyα nebula. The detailed analysis of the Lyα velocity, velocity dispersion, and surface brightness profiles suggests that the J0952+0114 Lyα nebula shares similar properties with other QSO nebulae previously detected with MUSE, implying that the PDLA in J0952+0144 is covering only a small fraction of the solid angle of the QSO emission. We also detected bright and spectrally narrow C iv λ1550 and He ii λ1640 extended emission around J0952+0114 with velocity centroids similar to the peak of the extended and central narrow Lyα emission. The presence of a peculiarly bright, unresolved, and relatively broad He ii λ1640 emission in the central region at exactly the same PDLA redshift hints at the possibility that the PDLA originates in a clumpy outflow with a bulk velocity of about 500 km s−1. The smaller velocity dispersion of the large-scale Lyα emission suggests that the high-speed outflow is confined to the central region. Lastly, the derived spatially resolved He ii/Lyα and C iv/Lyα maps show a positive gradient with the distance to the QSO, hinting at a non-homogeneous distribution of the ionization parameter.

intergalactic medium; quasars: emission lines; quasars: general; quasars: individual: SDSS J095253.83+011421.9; techniques: imaging spectroscopy; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics

Based on observations obtained at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (ESO Programme ID 096.A-0345).

The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 880, Number 1
2019 July

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Instituto de Astrof√≠sica e Ci√™ncias do Espa√ßo Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia