MAGiiCAT VI. The Mg ii Intragroup Medium Is kinematically complex


Nielsen, Nikole M. ; Kacprzak, Glenn G.; Pointon, Stephanie K. ; Churchill, Christopher W. ; Murphy, Michael T.

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By comparing Mg II absorption in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of group environments to isolated galaxies, we investigated the impact of environment on the CGM. An Mg II absorber is associated with a group if there are two or more galaxies at the absorption redshift within a projected distance of D = 200 kpc from a background quasar and a line-of-sight velocity separation of 500 km s(-1). We compiled a sample of 29 group environments consisting of 74 galaxies (two to five galaxies per group) at 0.113 < z(gal) < 0.888. The group absorber median equivalent width (< W-r (2796)> n = 0.65 +/- 0.13 angstrom) and covering fraction (f(c) = 0.89(-0.09)(+0.05)) are larger than isolated absorbers (1.27 sigma and 2.2 sigma, respectively), but median column densities are statistically consistent. A pixel-velocity two-point correlation function analysis shows that group environment kinematics are statistically comparable to isolated environments (0.8 sigma), but with more power for high velocity dispersions similar to outflow kinematics. Group absorbers display more optical depth at larger velocities. A superposition model in which multiple galaxies contribute to the observed gas matches larger equivalent width group absorbers but significantly overpredicts the kinematics owing to large velocity separations between member galaxies. Finally, galaxy-galaxy groups (similar member galaxy luminosities) may have larger absorber median equivalent widths (1.7 sigma) and velocity dispersions (2.5 sigma) than galaxy-dwarf groups (disparate luminosities). We suggest that the observed gas is coupled to the group rather than individual galaxies, forming an intragroup medium. Gas may be deposited into this medium by multiple galaxies via outflowing winds undergoing an intergalactic transfer between member galaxies or from tidal stripping of interacting members.

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Journal article


The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 869, no. 2 (Dec 2018), article no. 153




American Astronomical Society


Copyright © 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. In accordance with Open Access policies for Australian publicly-funded research, and the copyright policy of the publisher, the published version is reproduced here.