How do galaxies get their gas? What is the morphology and kinematics of the accreting gas and how does this affect galaxy evolution? A recent MUSE observation targeting a quasar at z=3 has finally provided the way to directly address these questions through one of the first images of contiguous Cosmic Web filaments on scales of several comoving Mpc. The filaments converge into a node associated with a large concentration of galaxies: two of these - separated only by 2" - have AGN-like spectra making them one of the few known close-binary AGN at high-z and the only triplet, including the quasar, which is 10" away. Because of the seeing-limited nature of the MUSE observations, the majority of the galaxies associated to the filaments and the AGN hosts are unresolved. To overcome this limitation we propose ACS imaging in two filters sampling the galaxy rest-frame UV continuum emission in order to: i) reveal the relation between the gaseous filaments properties (such as gas densities and kinematics) and the morphological properties (such as size, clumpiness and structural parameters) of the associated galaxy star forming regions in order to study how galaxies form their stars, ii) detect the diffuse UV light associated with galaxy interactions and intergalactic star formation in order to constrain the role of environment in the formation of the stellar and AGN components of the progenitor of today's massive galaxies. The proposed ACS imaging will be the perfect complement to the multi-wavelength, ongoing deep observations with JWST, ALMA and Chandra on this field providing a new window on the study of early galaxy and structure formation in a massive node of the Cosmic Web.
|Type||HST Proposal, Cycle 30, ID. #17065|
|Publication status||Published - 1-Jun-2022|