The Faint Intergalactic Redshifted Emission Balloon and the Cosmic Web Imager: Two Integral Field Spectrographs Designed to Study Emission from the Intergalactic Medium [thesis]

Mateusz Konrad Matuszewski
Gas in the intergalactic medium serves as the fuel for galaxies. It carries signatures of galactic feedback, including matter and energy outflows. Understanding the morphology, thermodynamics, chemistry, and kinematics of this gas is key to understanding galaxy formation and evolution. The principal method of characterizing this gas has been the study of the Lyman α forest and associated metal systems. While this work has yielded deep insights into the nature of intergalactic matter, the
more » ... y of suitable background sources does allow for a full three-dimensional picture. Numerical simulations and theoretical work indicate that this gas produces faint and extended recombinant line emission. Its signatures in Lyα(1216 Å), OVI(1033 Å), CIV(1550 Å) are expected to be the strongest. Recent advances in technology and fresh ideas in instrumentation are allowing access to the predicted surface brightness of intergalactic emission. The Faint Intergalactic Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall) and the Cosmic Web Imager (CWI) are two integral field spectrographs probing different redshift regimes, which have been designed for the specific purpose of detecting and mapping emission from the intergalactic medium. FIREBall, operating in the balloon ultraviolet window around 2000 Å, probes the redshift range 0.3 < z < 1, while CWI, a ground-based optical instrument, studies the Universe at 2.5 < z < 7.0. Both instruments collected their first science data in mid-2009. This manuscript discusses the science case for the spectrographs, focuses on their designs, construction, testing, first light, target selection, observations, data reduction, and analysis. Initial results are presented and discussed.
doi:10.7907/agdx-5c14 fatcat:ttqyesjhqje4zig3dnbzvndt5a