Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Host Galaxy Properties of CaII and NaI Quasar Absorption-Line Systems

Cherinka, Brian (2012) Host Galaxy Properties of CaII and NaI Quasar Absorption-Line Systems. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

PDF (thesis for Brian Cherinka)
Primary Text

Download (4MB) | Preview


Many questions remain within the areas of galaxy formation and evolution. Understanding the origin of gas in galaxy environments, whether as tidal debris, infalling High Velocity Clouds, galaxy outflows, or as gaseous material residing in galaxy disks, is an important step in answering those questions. Quasar absorption-lines can often be used to probe the environments of intervening galaxies. Traditionally, quasar absorption-lines are studied independently of the host galaxy but this method denies us the exploration of the connection between galaxy and environment. Instead, one can select pairs of known galaxies and quasars. This gives much more information regarding the host galaxy and allows us to better connect galaxy properties with associated absorbers.

We use the seventh data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to generate a sample of spectroscopic galaxy-quasar pairs. We cross-correlated a sample of 105,000 quasars and ~800,000 galaxies to produce ~98,000 galaxy-quasar pairs, with the quasar projected within 100 kpc of the galaxy. Adopting an automated line-finding algorithm and using the galaxy redshift as a prior, we search through all quasar spectra and identify CaII and NaI absorption due to the intervening galaxy. This procedure produced 1745 Ca~II absorbers and 4500 NaI absorbers detected at or above 2-sigma. Stacking analysis of a subset of absorbers at z>0.01, with significances at or above 3-sigma, showed strong CaII and NaI features around external galaxies.

Using the same subset of absorbers at z>0.01, we looked for correlations between absorber and galaxy properties and examined differences in galaxy properties between the absorbers and non-absorbers. We found no correlations with absorber strength or differences between many galaxy properties at the 3-sigma level. The lack of correlations and differences between absorbers and non-absorbers suggest a ubiquitous nature for CaII and NaI around all types of galaxies, with the absorbers showing no geometric preference within galaxy halos. This suggests a possible origin as leftover debris from past mergers that has been redistributed within the halo over time.

The main results are presented in Chapters 3 and 4, with complimentary work presented in Chapter 5.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cherinka, Brianbac29@pitt.eduBAC29
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchulte-Ladbeck, Reginarsl@pitt.eduRSL
Committee MemberKosowsky, Arthurkosowsky@pitt.eduKOSOWSKY
Committee MemberNaples, Donnadnaples@pitt.eduDNAPLES
Committee MemberRao, Sandhyasrao@pitt.eduSRAO
Committee MemberCroft,
Date: 26 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 December 2011
Approval Date: 26 September 2012
Submission Date: 18 July 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 238
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Astronomy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: SDSS, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, optical, absorption, algorithm, interstellar medium, spectra, stacking, HI, 21 cm, Ca II, Na I, quasar, statistics, K-S, Mann-Whitney U
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 00:05
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:00


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item