We present the first spectroscopic measurement of the spatial cross-correlation function between damped Lyα systems (DLAs) and Lyman break galaxies (LBGs). Analysis of deep u'BVRI imaging of nine QSO fields with 11 known z ~ 3 DLAs has spectroscopically confirmed 211 z > 2 LBGs to R = 25.5. We find strong evidence for an overdensity of LBGs near DLAs versus random, the results of which are similar to that of LBGs near other LBGs. A maximum likelihood cross-correlation analysis finds the best-fit value for the correlation length to be r0 = 2.9-1.5+1.4h -1 Mpc using a fixed value of γ = 1.6. The implications of the DLA-LBG clustering amplitude on the average dark matter halo mass of DLAs are discussed.
Vol. 636, no. 1 (Jan 2006), pp. L9-L12