Thursday, June 27, 2013

1306.6117 (H. Andrews et al.)

Galaxy Clusters in the Line of Sight to Background Quasars - III Multi-Object Spectroscopy    [PDF]

H. Andrews, L. F. Barrientos, S. Lopez, P. Lira, N. Padilla, D. G. Gilbank, I. Lacerna, M. J. Maureira, E. Ellingson, M. D. Gladders, H. K. C. Yee
We present Gemini/GMOS-S multi-object spectroscopy of 31 galaxy cluster candidates at redshifts between 0.2 and 1.0 and centered on QSO sight-lines taken from Lopez et al. (2008). The targets were selected based on the presence of a intervening MgII absorption system at a similar redshift to that of a galaxy cluster candidate lying at a projected distance < 2 h^{-1}Mpc from the QSO sight-line (a 'photometric-hit'). The absorption systems span rest-frame equivalent widths between 0.015 and 2.028 angstroms. Our aim was 3-fold: 1) identify the absorbing galaxies and determine their impact parameters, 2) confirm the galaxy cluster candidates in the vicinity of each quasar sightline, and 3) determine whether the absorbing galaxies reside in galaxy clusters. Our main findings are: 1) the identification of 10 out of 24 absorbing galaxies with redshifts up to 1.0955. 2) The spectroscopic confirmation of 20 out of 31 cluster/group candidates, with most of the confirmed clusters/groups at z < 0.7. 3) Following from the results above, the spectroscopic confirmation of 10 out of 14 photometric hits within ~ 650 km/s from galaxy clusters/groups, in addition to 2 new ones related to galaxy group environments. These numbers imply efficiencies of 71% in finding such systems with MOS spectroscopy. This is a remarkable result since we defined a photometric hit as those cluster-absorber pairs having a redshift difference dz = 0.1. Absorbing cluster-galaxies hosting weak absorbers are consistent with lower star formation activity than the rest, which produce strong absorption and agree with typical MgII absorbing galaxies found in the literature. Our spectroscopic confirmations lend support to the selection of photometric hits made in Lopez et al. (2008).
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