A deep search for metals near redshift 7: The line of sight towards ULAS J1120+0641

DJ Mortlock, C Simpson & BP Venemans
We present a search for metal absorption line systems at the highest redshifts to date using a deep (30h) VLT/X-Shooter spectrum of the z = 7.084 quasi-stellar object (QSO) ULAS J1120+0641. We detect seven intervening systems at z > 5.5, with the highest-redshift system being a C IV absorber at z = 6.51. We find tentative evidence that the mass density of C IV remains flat or declines with redshift at z < 6, while...
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