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## User: ken-m-lanzetta

### Title: The Deuterium Abundance in the z=0.7 absorber towards QSO PG1718+4807

We report a further analysis of the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen (D/H)
using HST spectra of the z=0.701 Lyman limit system towards the QSO PG1718+481.
Initial analyses of this absorber found it gave a high D/H value, 1.8 - 3.1
\times 10^{-4} (Webb et al. 1998), inconsistent with several higher redshift
measurements. It is thus important to critically examine this measurement. By
analysing the velocity widths of the DI, HI and metal lines present in this
system, Kirkman et al. (2001) report that the additional absorption in the blue
wing of the lya line can not be DI, with a confidence level of 98%. Here we
present a more detailed analysis, taking into account possible wavelength
shifts between the three sets of HST spectra used in the analysis. We find that
the constraints on this system are not as strong as those claimed by Kirkman et
al. The discrepancy between the parameters of the blue wing absorption and the
parameters expected for DI is marginally worse than 1 sigma.
Tytler et al.(1999) commented on the first analysis of Webb et
al.(1997,1998), reporting the presence of a contaminating lower redshift Lyman
limit system, with log[N(HI)] = 16.7 at z=0.602, which biases the N(HI)
estimate for the main system. Here we show that this absorber actually has
log[N(HI)] < 14.6 and does not impact on the estimate of N(HI) in the system of
interest at z = 0.701.
The purpose of the present paper is to highlight important aspects of the
analysis which were not explored in previous studies, and hence help refine the
methods used in future analyses of D/H in quasar spectra.

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