Resolving the physics of quasar Ly α nebulae (RePhyNe): I. Constraining quasar host halo masses through circumgalactic medium kinematics

S. De Beer*, Cantalupo, A. Travascio, G. Pezzulli, M. Galbiati, M. Fossati, M. Fumagalli, T. Lazeyras, A. Pensabene, T. Theuns, W. Wang

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Ly α nebulae ubiquitously found around z > 2 quasars can supply unique constraints on the properties of the circumgalactic medium, such as its density distribution, provided the quasar halo mass is known. We present a new method to constrain quasar halo masses based on the line-of-sight velocity dispersion maps of Ly α nebulae. By using MUSE-like mock observations obtained from cosmological hydrodynamic simulations under the assumption of maximal quasar fluorescence, we show that the velocity dispersion radial profiles of Ly α emitting gas are strongly determined by gravity and that they are thus self-similar with respect to halo mass when rescaled by the virial radius. Through simple analytical arguments and by exploiting the kinematics of He ii1640 Å emission for a set of observed nebulae, we show that Ly α radiative transfer effects plausibly do not change the shape of the velocity dispersion profiles but only their normalization without breaking their self-similarity. Taking advantage of these results, we define the variable as the ratio of the median velocity dispersion in two specifically selected annuli and derive an analytical relation between and the halo mass which can be directly applied to observations. We apply our method to 37 observed quasar Ly α nebulae at 3 < z < 4.7 and find that their associated quasars are typically hosted by ∼1012.16 ± 0.14MO haloes independent of redshift within the explored range. This measurement, which is completely independent of clustering methods, is consistent with the lowest mass estimates based on quasar autocorrelation clustering at z∼3 and with quasar-galaxies cross-correlation results.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1850-1873
Aantal pagina's24
TijdschriftMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - dec.-2023


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