MUSE-inspired view of the quasar Q2059-360, its Lyman α blob, and its neighborhood

P. L. North, R. A. Marino, C. Gorgoni, M. Hayes, D. Sluse, D. Chelouche, A. Verhamme, S. Cantalupo, F. Courbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The radio-quiet quasar Q2059-360 at redshift z = 3.08 is known to be close to a small Lyman α blob (LAB) and to be absorbed by a proximate damped Lyα (PDLA) system. Here, we present the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) integral field spectroscopy follow-up of this quasi-stellar object (QSO). Our primary goal is to characterize this LAB in detail by mapping it both spatially and spectrally using the Lyα line, and by looking for high-ionization lines to constrain the emission mechanism. Combining the high sensitivity of the MUSE integral field spectrograph mounted on the Yepun telescope at ESO-VLT with the natural coronagraph provided by the PDLA, we map the LAB down to the QSO position, after robust subtraction of QSO light in the spectral domain. In addition to confirming earlier results for the small bright component of the LAB, we unveil a faint filamentary emission protruding to the south over about 80 pkpc (physical kpc); this results in a total size of about 120 pkpc. We derive the velocity field of the LAB (assuming no transfer effects) and map the Lyα line width. Upper limits are set to the flux of the N v λ1238 - 1242, C iv λ1548 - 1551, He ii λ1640, and C iii] λ1548 - 1551 lines. We have discovered two probable Lyα emitters at the same redshift as the LAB and at projected distances of 265 kpc and 207 kpc from the QSO; their Lyα luminosities might well be enhanced by the QSO radiation. We also find an emission line galaxy at z = 0.33 near the line of sight to the QSO. This LAB shares the same general characteristics as the 17 others surrounding radio-quiet QSOs presented previously. However, there are indications that it may be centered on the PDLA galaxy rather than on the QSO.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA23
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ESO.


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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