We have undertaken a comprehensive program to study the chemical and dynamical evolution of galaxies at intermediate redshifts (0.4 < z < 1.4). Our sample includes 50 galaxies selected by the presence of MgII absorption in the spectra of background quasars (QSOs). A first step is to establish the connections between the kinematic, chemical, and ionization properties of gas observed in QSO absorption lines and the luminous properties of galaxies associated with the gas. To obtain the absorbing gas properties, we incorporate high-resolution optical spectra from HIRES/Keck, lower resolution UV spectra from the FOS/HST Archive, and, in the future, proposed higher resolution UV spectra from STIS/HST. To obtain the galaxy properties, we incorporate ground-based images of the QSO fields and spectra of the galaxies themselves (much of this drawn from the database of Steidel, Dickinson, & Persson (1994, ApJ, 437, L75). We present first results from this program, including evidence that in many early-epoch galaxies the low ionization gas is embedded in high ionization, high metallicity Galactic-like coronae. The high metallicities imply that these galaxies build their high ionization halos from their processed stars. However, there appears to be a second class of galaxies that do not have these high ionization coronae. These galaxies have red colors consistent with early-type elliptical galaxies.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1998