Henrik Rhodin - Damped HI absorbers and their galactic environments

Abstract: Strong neutral hydrogen absorption in the spectra of background quasars is a ‘tell' of intervening gaseous galaxies. Insensitive to the galaxy luminosity, this gas cross-section selection complements the standard luminosity selection in the search for high-redshift galaxies. But identifying these galaxies in emission is challenging due to the proximity of the bright background quasar. In my talk, I will discuss our most recent results from spectroscopic and photometric followups. In particular, I will address metallicity gradients extending into the galaxy halos and surprisingly low star-formation rates. I will also try to show some results from an ongoing collaboration where we compare our observations with zoom-in simulations.