BAL phosphorus abundance and evidence for immense ionic column densities in quasar outflows: vlt/x-shooter observations of quasar SDSS J1512+1119
Borguet, Benoit C. J.
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We present spectroscopic analysis of the broad absorption line (BAL) outflow in quasar SDSS J1512+1119. In particular, we focus our attention on a kinematic component in which we identify P V and S IV/S IV* absorption troughs. The shape of the unblended phosphorus doublet troughs and the three S IV/S IV* troughs allow us to obtain reliable column density measurements for these two ions. Photoionization modeling using these column densities and those of He I* constrain the abundance of phosphorus to the range of 0.5-4 times the solar value. The total column density, ionization parameter, and metallicity inferred from the P V and S IV column densities lead to large optical depth values for the common transition observed in BAL outflows. We show that the true C IV optical depth is similar to 1000 times greater in the core of the absorption profile than the value deduced from its apparent optical depth.
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