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|Title:||Solving the conundrum of intervening strong Mg II absorbers towards gamma-ray bursts and quasars||Authors:||Christensen, L.
Vergani, S. D.
Fynbo, J. P. U.
de Ugarte Postigo, A.
Ellison, S. L.
Berg, T. A. M.
Heintz, K. E.
Tanvir, N. R.
Thöne, C. C.
|Issue Date:||2017||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||608||First Page:||A84||Abstract:||Previous studies have shown that the incidence rate of intervening strong Mg II absorbers towards gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) were a factor of 2-4 higher than towards quasars. Exploring the similar sized and uniformly selected legacy data sets XQ-100 and XSGRB, each consisting of 100 quasar and 81 GRB afterglow spectra obtained with a single instrument (VLT/X-shooter), we demonstrate that there is no disagreement in the number density of strong Mg II absorbers with rest-frame equivalent widths W_r<SUP>λ2796>1</SUP> Å towardsGRBs and quasars in the redshift range 0.1 ≲ z ≲ 5. With large and similar sample sizes, and path length coverages of ∆z = 57.8 and 254.4 for GRBs and quasars, respectively, the incidences of intervening absorbers are consistent within 1σ uncertainty levels at all redshifts. For absorbers at z < 2.3, the incidence towards GRBs is a factor of 1.5 ± 0.4 higher than the expected number of strong Mg II absorbers in Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) quasar spectra, while for quasar absorbers observed with X-shooter we find an excess factor of 1.4 ± 0.2 relative to SDSS quasars. Conversely, the incidence rates agree at all redshifts with reported high-spectral-resolution quasar data, and no excess is found. The only remaining discrepancy in incidences is between SDSS Mg II catalogues and high-spectral-resolution studies. The rest-frame equivalent-width distribution also agrees to within 1σ uncertainty levels between the GRB and quasar samples. Intervening strong Mg II absorbers towards GRBs are therefore neither unusually frequent, nor unusually strong. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile, Program ID: 098.A-0055, 097.A-0036, 096.A-0079, 095.B-0811(B), 095.A-0045, 094.A-0134, 093.A-0069, 092.A-0124, 0091.C-0934, 090.A-0088, 089.A-0067, 088.A-0051, 087.A-0055, 086.A-0073, 085.A-0009 and 084.A-0260. XQ-100: 189.A-0424.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/29182||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2017/12/aa31382-17/aa31382-17.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201731382||Bibcode ADS:||2017A&A...608A..84C||Fulltext:||open|
|Appears in Collections:||1.01 Articoli in rivista|
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