LOW-IONIZATION LINE EMISSION FROM A STARBURST GALAXY: A NEW PROBE OF A GALACTIC-SCALE OUTFLOW

Kate H. R. Rubin, J. Xavier Prochaska, Brice Ménard, Norman Murray, Daniel Kasen, David C. Koo, Andrew C. Phillips
2011 Astrophysical Journal  
We study the kinematically narrow, low-ionization line emission from a bright, starburst galaxy at z = 0.69 using slit spectroscopy obtained with Keck/LRIS. The spectrum reveals strong absorption in MgII and FeII resonance transitions with Doppler shifts of -200 to -300 km/s, indicating a cool gas outflow. Emission in MgII near and redward of systemic velocity, in concert with the observed absorption, yields a P Cygni-like line profile similar to those observed in the Ly alpha transition in
more » ... n Break Galaxies. Further, the MgII emission is spatially resolved, and extends significantly beyond the emission from stars and HII regions within the galaxy. Assuming the emission has a simple, symmetric surface brightness profile, we find that the gas extends to distances > ~7 kpc. We also detect several narrow FeII* fine-structure lines in emission near the systemic velocity, arising from energy levels which are radiatively excited directly from the ground state. We suggest that the MgII and FeII* emission is generated by photon scattering in the observed outflow, and emphasize that this emission is a generic prediction of outflows. These observations provide the first direct constraints on the minimum spatial extent and morphology of the wind from a distant galaxy. Estimates of these parameters are crucial for understanding the impact of outflows in driving galaxy evolution.
doi:10.1088/0004-637x/728/1/55 fatcat:bxglxhcd3fgjhbbc4qonlukc54