RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Thursday, 30 June 2016, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Alex Codoreanu

"racking Magnesium across 10 billion years: the comoving mass density of MgII from redshift 2 to 5.5"

Metal absorption lines along the line of sight to distant quasars provide an unbiased census of the metal enrichment and ionisation history of the Universe. We present a search and consistent analysis for MgII absorption systems in the foreground of 4 high redshift (z ∼ 6) quasar spectra obtained with the ESO Very Large Telescope X-shooter. The medium resolution and high sensitivity allow us to measure, for the first time, the evolution of the comoving mass density, Omega(MgII), from z = 2 to 5.5, approaching the end of the Epoch of Reionisation.