AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 120 Intergalactic Medium and Absorption Line Systems
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[120.04] Pondering the Physical Conditions of an Unusual MgII Absorption Line System

T.M. Jones, A. Naryanan, J.C. Charlton (Penn State)

We have derived the physical properties of the z=0.4523 multiple cloud weak MgII absorber (Wr(2796)=0.14Å) toward the quasar HE0001-2340. This system was studied using resolution R=45,000 UVES/VLT data from the ESO archive. Surprisingly, one of the three clouds associated with this system has detected FeI, CaI, MnII, and CaII, usually detected only in the very strongest absorbers (i.e. sub-DLAs and DLAs). It also has extremely strong FeII absorption. The other two clouds, separated by less than 100km/s from the first, have properties typical of weak MgII clouds. Our preliminary Cloudy (Ferland 2001) photoionization models suggest two possible explanations for the unusual cloud: 1) an abundance pattern that is significantly rich in iron and calcium relative to the solar pattern; 2) a two phase structure, with very cold, compact clouds. Either explanation points toward a type of structure or process that may not have yet been identified in the context of studies of quasar absorption line systems. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant AST-07138 and by the REU Supplement Program.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tjones@astro.psu.edu

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