J. Wardlow

University of Copenhagen, København, Capital Region, Denmark

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Publications (82)336.18 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We analyse HST WFC3/$H_{160}$-band observations of a sample of 48 ALMA-detected submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South field, to study their stellar morphologies and sizes. We detect 79$\pm$17% of the SMGs in the $H_{160}$-band imaging with a median sensitivity of 27.8 mag, and most (80%) of the non-detections are SMGs with 870$\mu$m fluxes of $S_{870} < $3 mJy. With a surface brightness limit of $\mu_H \sim $26 mag arcsec$^{-2}$, we find that 82$\pm$9% of the $H_{160}$-band detected SMGs at $z =$ 1-3 appear to have disturbed morphologies, meaning they are visually classified as either irregulars or interacting systems, or both. By determining a S\'ersic fit to the $H_{160}$ surface-brightness profiles we derive a median S\'ersic index of $n = $1.2$\pm$0.3 and a median half-light radius of $r_e = $4.4$^{+1.1}_{-0.5}$ kpc for our SMGs at $z = $1-3. We also find significant displacements between the positions of the $H_{160}$-component and 870$\mu$m emission in these systems, suggesting that the dusty star-burst regions and less-obscured stellar distribution are not co-located. We find significant differences in the sizes and the S\'ersic index between our $z = $2-3 SMGs and $z \sim $2 quiescent galaxies, suggesting a major transformation of the stellar light profile is needed in the quenching processes if SMGs are progenitors of the red-and-dead $z\sim$2 galaxies. Given the short-lived nature of SMGs, we postulate that the majority of the $z = $2-3 SMGs with $S_{870} \gtrsim $2 mJy are early/mid-stage major mergers.
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied in detail a sample of 967 SPIRE sources with 5-sigma detections at 350 and 500 micron and associations with Spitzer-SWIRE 24 micron galaxies in the HerMES-Lockman survey area, fitting their mid- and far-infrared, and submillimetre, SEDs in an automatic search with a set of six infrared templates. For almost 300 galaxies we have modelled their SEDs individually to ensure the physicality of the fits. We confirm the need for the new cool and cold cirrus templates, and also of the young starburst template, introduced in earlier work. We also identify 109 lensing candidates via their anomalous SEDs and provide a set of colour-redshift constraints which allow lensing candidates to be identified from combined Herschel and Spitzer data. The picture that emerges of the submillimetre galaxy population is complex, comprising ultraluminous and hyperluminous starbursts, lower luminosity galaxies dominated by interstellar dust emission, lensed galaxies and galaxies with surprisingly cold (10-13K) dust. 11 % of 500$\mu$m selected sources are lensing candidates. 70 % of the unlensed sources are ultraluminous infrared galaxies and 26 % are hyperluminous. 34 % are dominated by optically thin interstellar dust ('cirrus') emission, but most of these are due to cooler dust than is characteristic of our Galaxy. At the highest infrared luminosities we see SEDs dominated by M82, Arp220 and young starburst types, in roughly equal proportions.
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    ABSTRACT: We present Keck-Adaptive Optics and Hubble Space Telescope high resolution near-infrared (IR) imaging for 500 um-bright candidate lensing systems identified by the Herschel Multi-tiered Extra-galactic Survey (HerMES) and Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Survey (H-ATLAS). Out of 87 candidates with near-IR imaging, 15 (~17%) display clear near-IR lensing morphologies. We present near-IR lens models to reconstruct and recover basic rest-frame optical morphological properties of the background galaxies from 12 new systems. Sources with the largest near-IR magnification factors also tend to be the most compact, consistent with the size bias predicted from simulations and pre- vious lensing models for sub-millimeter galaxies. For four new sources that also have high-resolution sub-mm maps, we test for differential lensing between the stellar and dust components and find that the 880 um magnification factor (u_880) is ~1.5 times higher than the near-IR magnification factor (u_NIR), on average. We also find that the stellar emission is ~2 times more extended in size than dust. The rest-frame optical properties of our sample of Herschel-selected lensed SMGs are consistent with those of unlensed SMGs, which suggests that the two populations are similar.
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss the restframe UV emission from the starbursting galaxy HFLS3 at z=6.34, discovered in Herschel/SPIRE data due to its red color in the submm wavelengths from 250-500 um. The apparent inst. SFR of HFLS3 inferred from the total FIR luminosity measured with over 15 photometric data points between 100 to 1000 um is 2900 Msun/yr. Keck/NIRC2 Ks band adaptive optics imaging data showed two potential NIR counterparts near HFLS3. Previously, the northern galaxy was taken to be in the foreground at z=2.1 while the southern galaxy was assumed to HFLS3's NIR counterpart. New HST/WFC3 and ACS imaging data show both optically bright galaxies are in the foreground at z<6. A new lensing model based on HST data and mm-wave continuum emission yields a magnification of 2.2+/-0.3. The lack of multiple imaging constrains the lensing magnification to be lower than either 2.7 or 3.5 at the 95% confidence level for the two scenarios, which attribute one or two components to HFLS3 in the source plane. Correcting for gravitational lensing, the inst. SFR is 1320 Msun/yr with the 95% confidence lower limit around 830 Msun/yr. Using models for the restframe UV to FIR SED, the ave. SFR over the last 100 Myr is around 660 Msun/yr. The dust and stellar masses of HFLS3 from the same SED models are 3x10^8 Msun and ~5x10^10 Msun, respectively, with large systematic uncertainties on assumptions related to the SED model. With HST/WFC3 images we also find diffuse NIR emission about 0.5" (~3 kpc) SW of HFLS3 that remains undetected in the ACS data. The emission has a photometric redshift consistent with either z~6 or a dusty galaxy template at z~2. If at the same redshift as HFLS3 the detected diffuse emission could be part of the complex merger system that could be triggering the starburst. Alternatively, it could be part of the foreground structure at z~2.1 that is responsible for lensing of HFLS3.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 790(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2014; 442(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a search for submillimeter emission in the vicinity of one of the most distant, luminous galaxies known, HerMES FLS3 at z=6.34, exploiting it as a signpost to a potentially biased region of the early Universe, as might be expected in hierarchical structure formation models. Imaging to the confusion limit with the innovative, wide-field submillimeter bolometer camera, SCUBA-2, we are sensitive to colder and/or less luminous galaxies in the surroundings of HFLS3. We use the Millennium Simulation to illustrate that HFLS3 may be expected to have companions if it is as massive as claimed, but find no significant evidence from the surface density of SCUBA-2 galaxies in its vicinity, or their colors, that HFLS3 marks an over-density of dusty, star-forming galaxies. We cannot rule out the presence of dusty neighbours with confidence, but deeper 450-um imaging has the potential to more tightly constrain the redshifts of nearby galaxies, at least one of which likely lies at z>~5. If associations with HFLS3 can be ruled out, this could be taken as evidence that HFLS3 is less biased than a simple extrapolation of the Millennium Simulation may imply. This could suggest either that it represents a rare short-lived, but highly luminous, phase in the evolution of an otherwise typical galaxy, or that this system has suffered amplification due to a foreground gravitational lens and so is not as intrinsically luminous as claimed.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2014; 793(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential for Planck to detect clusters of dusty, star-forming galaxies at z > 1 is tested by examining the Herschel-SPIRE images of Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalog sources lying in fields observed by the Herschel Multitiered Extragalactic Survey. Of the 16 Planck sources that lie in the ̃90 sq. deg. examined, we find that 12 are associated with single bright Herschel sources. The remaining four are associated with overdensities of Herschel sources, making them candidate clusters of dusty, star-forming galaxies. We use complementary optical/near-IR data for these `clumps' to test this idea, and find evidence for the presence of galaxy clusters in all four cases. We use photometric redshifts and red sequence galaxies to estimate the redshifts of these clusters, finding that they range from 0.8 to 2.3. These redshifts imply that the Herschel sources in these clusters, which contribute to the detected Planck flux, are forming stars very rapidly, with typical total cluster star formation rates >1000 M☉ yr-1. The high-redshift clusters discovered in these observations are used to constrain the epoch of cluster galaxy formation, finding that the galaxies in our clusters are 1-1.5 Gyr old at z ̃ 1-2. Prospects for the discovery of further clusters of dusty galaxies are discussed, using not only all sky Planck surveys, but also deeper, smaller area, Herschel surveys.
    01/2014; 439(2).
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    ABSTRACT: We study the far-infrared properties of 498 Lyman Alpha Emitters (LAEs) at z=2.8, 3.1 and 4.5 in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South, using 250, 350 and 500 micron data from the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES) and 870 micron data from the LABOCA ECDFS Submillimeter Survey (LESS). None of the 126, 280 or 92 LAEs at z=2.8, 3.1 and 4.5, respectively, are individually detected in the far-infrared data. We use stacking to probe the average emission to deeper flux limits, reaching $1\sigma$ depths of ~0.1 to 0.4 mJy. The LAEs are also undetected at $\ge3\sigma$ in the stacks, although a $2.5\sigma$ signal is observed at 870 micron for the z=2.8 sources. We consider a wide range of far-infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs), including a M82 and an Sd galaxy template, to determine upper limits on the far-infrared luminosities and far-infrared-derived star-formation rates of the LAEs. These star-formation rates are then combined with those inferred from the Ly$\alpha$ and UV emission to determine lower limits on the LAEs Ly$\alpha$ escape fraction ($f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$)). For the Sd SED template, the inferred LAEs $f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$) are $\gtrsim30%$ ($1\sigma$) at z=2.8, 3.1 and 4.5, which are all significantly higher than the global $f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$) at these redshifts. Thus, if the LAEs $f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$) follows the global evolution then they have warmer far-infrared SEDs than the Sd galaxy template. The average and M82 SEDs produce lower limits on the LAE $f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$) of ~10 to 20% ($1\sigma$), all of which are slightly higher than the global evolution of $f_{\rm esc}($Ly$\alpha$) but consistent with it at the 2 to 3$\sigma$ level.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2013; 787(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MS$\,$0451.6$-$0305 is a rich galaxy cluster whose strong lensing is particularly prominent at submm wavelengths. We combine new SCUBA-2 data with imaging from Herschel SPIRE and PACS and HST in order to try to understand the nature of the sources being lensed. In the region of the "giant submm arc," we uncover seven multiply imaged galaxies (up from the previously known three), of which six are found to be at a redshift of $z\sim2.9$, and possibly constitute an interacting system. Using a novel forward-modelling approach, we are able to simultaneously deblend and fit SEDs to the individual galaxies that contribute to the giant submm arc, constraining their dust temperatures, far infrared luminosities and star formation rates. The submm arc first identified by SCUBA can now be seen to be composed of at least five distinct sources, four of these within the galaxy group at $z\sim2.9$. The total unlensed luminosity for this galaxy group is $(3.1\pm0.3) \times 10^{12}\,\mathrm{L}_\odot$, which gives an unlensed star formation rate of $(450\pm50)$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$. From the properties of this system, we see no evidence of evolution towards lower temperatures in the dust temperature versus far-infrared luminosity relation for high redshift galaxies.
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    ABSTRACT: The potential for Planck to detect clusters of dusty, star-forming galaxies at z greater than 1 is tested by examining the Herschel-SPIRE images of Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalog (ERCSC) sources lying in fields observed by the HerMES survey. Of the 16 Planck sources that lie in the roughly 90 sq. deg. examined, we find that twelve are associated with single bright Herschel sources. The remaining four are associated with overdensities of Herschel sources, making them candidate clusters of dusty, starforming galaxies. We use complementary optical and NIR data for these clumps to test this idea, and find evidence for the presence of galaxy clusters in all four cases. We use photometric redshifts and red sequence galaxies to estimate the redshifts of these clusters, finding that they range from 0.8 to 2.3. These redshifts imply that the Herschel sources in these clusters, which contribute to the detected Planck flux, are forming stars very rapidly, with typical total cluster star formation rates greater than 1000Msun per yr. The high redshift clusters discovered in these observations are used to constrain the epoch of cluster galaxy formation, finding that the galaxies in our clusters are 1 to 1.5 Gy old at z about 1 to 2. Prospects for the discovery of further clusters of dusty galaxies are discussed, using not only all sky Planck surveys, but also deeper, smaller area, Herschel surveys.
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    ABSTRACT: We report on deep near-infrared observations obtained with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) of the first five confirmed gravitational lensing events discovered by the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS). We succeed in disentangling the background galaxy from the lens to gain separate photometry of the two components. The HST data allow us to significantly improve on previous constraints of the mass in stars of the lensed galaxy and to perform accurate lens modelling of these systems, as described in the accompanying paper by Dye et al. We fit the spectral energy distributions of the background sources from near-IR to millimetre wavelengths and use the magnification factors estimated by Dye et al. to derive the intrinsic properties of the lensed galaxies. We find these galaxies to have star-formation rates of approximately 400 to 2000 M_sol/yr, with approximately (6-25)x10^10 M_sol of their baryonic mass already turned into stars. At these rates of star formation, all remaining molecular gas will be exhausted in less than 100 Myr, reaching a final mass in stars of a few 10^11 M_sol. These galaxies are thus proto-ellipticals caught during their major episode of star formation, and observed at the peak epoch z=1.5-3 of the cosmic star formation history of the Universe.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2013; 440(3). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a method for selecting $z>4$ dusty, star forming galaxies (DSFGs) using Herschel/SPIRE 250/350/500 $\mu m$ flux densities to search for red sources. We apply this method to 21 deg$^2$ of data from the HerMES survey to produce a catalog of 38 high-$z$ candidates. Follow-up of the first 5 of these sources confirms that this method is efficient at selecting high-$z$ DSFGs, with 4/5 at $z=4.3$ to $6.3$ (and the remaining source at $z=3.4$), and that they are some of the most luminous dusty sources known. Comparison with previous DSFG samples, mostly selected at longer wavelengths (e.g., 850 $\mu m$) and in single-band surveys, shows that our method is much more efficient at selecting high-$z$ DSFGs, in the sense that a much larger fraction are at $z>3$. Correcting for the selection completeness and purity, we find that the number of bright ($S_{500\,\mu m} \ge 30$ mJy), red Herschel sources is $3.3 \pm 0.8$ deg$^{-2}$. This is much higher than the number predicted by current models, suggesting that the DSFG population extends to higher redshifts than previously believed. If the shape of the luminosity function for high-$z$ DSFGs is similar to that at $z\sim2$, rest-frame UV based studies may be missing a significant component of the star formation density at $z=4$ to $6$, even after correction for extinction.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 780(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We exploit ALMA 870um (345GHz) observations of submillimetre sources in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South to investigate the far-infrared properties of high-redshift submillimetre galaxies (SMGs). Using the precisely located 870um ALMA positions of 99 SMGs, together with 24um and radio imaging of this field, we deblend the Herschel/SPIRE imaging of this region to extract their far-infrared fluxes and colours. The median photometric redshifts for ALMA LESS (ALESS) SMGs which are detected in at least two SPIRE bands increases with wavelength of the peak in their SEDs, with z=2.3+/-0.2, 2.5+/-0.3 and 3.5+/-0.5 for the 250, 350 and 500-um peakers respectively. We find that 34 ALESS SMGs do not have a >3-sigma counterpart at 250, 350 or 500-um. These galaxies have a median photometric redshift of z=3.3+/-0.5, which is higher than the full ALESS SMG sample; z=2.5+/-0.2. Using the photometric redshifts together with the 250-870um photometry, we estimate the far-infrared luminosities and characteristic dust temperature of each SMG. The median infrared luminosity of the S_870um>2mJy SMGs is L_IR=(3.0+/-0.3)x10^{12}Lo(SFR=300+/-30Mo/yr). At a fixed luminosity, the characteristic dust temperature of these high-redshift SMGs is 2-3K lower than comparably luminous galaxies at z=0, reflecting the more extended star formation occurring in these systems. By extrapolating the 870um number counts to S_ 870um=1mJy, we show that the contribution of S_870um>1mJy SMGs to the cosmic star formation budget is 20% of the total over the redshift range z~1-4. We derive a median dust mass for these SMGs of M_d=(3.6+/-0.3)x10^8Mo and by adopting an appropriate gas-to-dust ratio, we estimate an average molecular mass of M_H2=(4.2+/-0.4)x10^{10}Mo. Finally, we use our estimates of the H2 masses to show that SMGs with S_870um>1mJy contain ~10% of the z~2 volume-averaged H2 mass density at this epoch.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first photometric redshift distribution for a large unbiased sample of 870um selected submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) with robust identifications based on observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). In our analysis we consider 96 SMGs in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South, 77 of which have 4-19 band, optical-near-infrared, photometry. We model the Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) for these 77 SMGs, deriving a median photometric redshift of z=2.3+/-0.1. The remaining 19 SMGs have insufficient optical or near-infrared photometry to derive photometric redshifts, but a stacking analysis of IRAC and Herschel observations confirms they are not spurious. Assuming these sources have an absolute H-band magnitude distribution comparable to that of a complete sample of z~1-2 SMGs, we demonstrate that the undetected SMGs lie at higher redshifts, raising the median redshift for SMGs to z=2.5+/-0.2. More critically we show that the proportion of galaxies undergoing an SMG phase at z>3 is 35+/-5% of the total population. We derive a median stellar mass for SMGs of Mstar=(8+/-1)x10^10Mo, but caution that there are significant systematic uncertainties in our stellar mass estimate, up to x5 for individual sources. We compare our sample of SMGs to a volume-limited, morphologically classified sample of ellipticals in the local Universe. Assuming the star formation activity in SMGs has a timescale of ~100Myr we show that their descendants at z~0 would have a space density and M_H distribution which are in good agreement with those of local ellipticals. In addition the inferred mass-weighted ages of the local ellipticals broadly agree with the look-back times of the SMG events. Taken together, these results are consistent with a simple model that identifies SMGs as events that form most of the stars seen in the majority of luminous elliptical galaxies at the present day.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 788(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The large gas and dust reservoirs of submm galaxies (SMGs) could potentially provide ample fuel to trigger an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN), but previous studies of the AGN fraction in SMGs have been controversial largely due to the inhomogeneity and limited angular resolution of the available submillimeter surveys. Here we set improved constraints on the AGN fraction and X-ray properties of the SMGs with ALMA and Chandra observations in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South (E-CDF-S). This study is the first among similar works to have unambiguously identified the X-ray counterparts of SMGs; this is accomplished using the fully submm-identified, statistically reliable SMG catalog with 99 SMGs from the ALMA LABOCA E-CDF-S Submillimeter Survey (ALESS). We found 10 X-ray sources associated with SMGs (median redshift z = 2.3), of which 8 were identified as AGNs using several techniques that enable cross-checking. The other 2 X-ray detected SMGs have levels of X-ray emission that can be plausibly explained by their star-formation activity. 6 of the 8 SMG-AGNs are moderately/highly absorbed, with N_H > 10e23 cm-2. An analysis of the AGN fraction, taking into account the spatial variation of X-ray sensitivity, yields an AGN fraction of 17+16-6% for AGNs with rest-frame 0.5-8 keV absorption-corrected luminosity >7.8x10e42 erg s-1; we provide estimated AGN fractions as a function of X-ray flux and luminosity. ALMA's high angular resolution also enables direct X-ray stacking at the precise positions of SMGs for the first time, and we found 4 potential SMG-AGNs in our stacking sample.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 778(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dust-obscured galaxies (DOGs) are an ultraviolet-faint, infrared-bright galaxy population that reside at z ~ 2 and are believed to be in a phase of dusty star-forming and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity. We present far-infrared (far-IR) observations of a complete sample of DOGs in the 2 deg2 of the Cosmic Evolution Survey. The 3077 DOGs have z = 1.9 ± 0.3 and are selected from 24 μm and r + observations using a color cut of r + – [24] ≥ 7.5 (AB mag) and S 24 ≥ 100 μJy. Based on the near-IR spectral energy distributions, 47% are bump DOGs (star formation dominated) and 10% are power-law DOGs (AGN-dominated). We use SPIRE far-IR photometry from the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey to calculate the IR luminosity and characteristic dust temperature for the 1572 (51%) DOGs that are detected at 250 μm (≥3σ). For the remaining 1505 (49%) that are undetected, we perform a median stacking analysis to probe fainter luminosities. Herschel-detected and undetected DOGs have average luminosities of (2.8 ± 0.4) × 1012L ☉ and (0.77 ± 0.08) × 1012L ☉, and dust temperatures of (33 ± 7) K and (37 ± 5) K, respectively. The IR luminosity function for DOGs with S 24 ≥ 100 μJy is calculated, using far-IR observations and stacking. DOGs contribute 10%-30% to the total star formation rate (SFR) density of the universe at z = 1.5-2.5, dominated by 250 μm detected and bump DOGs. For comparison, DOGs contribute 30% to the SFR density for all z = 1.5-2.5 galaxies with S 24 ≥ 100 μJy. DOGs have a large scatter about the star formation main sequence and their specific SFRs show that the observed phase of star formation could be responsible for their total observed stellar mass at z ~ 2.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 775(1):61. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Strong gravitational lenses are now being routinely discovered in wide-field surveys at (sub)millimeter wavelengths. We present Submillimeter Array (SMA) high-spatial resolution imaging and Gemini-South and Multiple Mirror Telescope optical spectroscopy of strong lens candidates discovered in the two widest extragalactic surveys conducted by the Herschel Space Observatory: the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) and the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES). From a sample of 30 Herschel sources with S_500>100 mJy, 21 are strongly lensed (multiply imaged), 4 are moderately lensed (singly imaged), and the remainder require additional data to determine their lensing status. We apply a visibility-plane lens modeling technique to the SMA data to recover information about the masses of the lenses as well as the intrinsic (i.e., unlensed) sizes (r_half) and far-infrared luminosities (L_FIR) of the lensed submillimeter galaxies (SMGs). The sample of lenses comprises primarily isolated massive galaxies, but includes some groups and clusters as well. Several of the lenses are located at z_lens>0.7, a redshift regime that is inaccessible to lens searches based on Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy. The lensed SMGs are amplified by factors that are significantly below statistical model predictions given the 500um flux densities of our sample. We speculate that this may reflect a deficiency in our understanding of the intrinsic sizes and luminosities of the brightest SMGs. The lensed SMGs span nearly one decade in L_FIR (median L_FIR=7.9x10^12 L_sun) and two decades in FIR luminosity surface density (median Sigma_FIR=6.0x10^11 L_sun kpc^-2). The strong lenses in this sample and others identified via (sub-)mm surveys will provide a wealth of information regarding the astrophysics of galaxy formation and evolution over a wide range in redshift.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 779(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the far-infrared (FIR; rest-frame 8--1000\mu m) properties of a sample of 443 H\alpha-selected star-forming galaxies in the COSMOS and UDS fields detected by the HiZELS imaging survey. Sources are identified using narrow-band filters in combination with broad-band photometry to uniformly select H\alpha\ (and [OII] if available) emitters in a narrow redshift slice at z = 1.47+/-0.02. We use a stacking approach in Spitzer, Herschel (from PEP and HerMES surveys) and AzTEC images to describe their typical FIR properties. We find that HiZELS galaxies with observed H\alpha\ luminosities of ~ 10^{8.1-9.1} Lo have bolometric FIR luminosities of typical LIRGs, L_FIR ~ 10^{11.48+/-0.05} Lo. Combining the H\alpha\ and FIR luminosities, we derive median SFR = 32+/-5 Mo/yr and H\alpha\ extinctions of A(H\alpha) = 1.0+/-0.2 mag. Perhaps surprisingly, little difference is seen in typical HiZELS extinction levels compared to local star-forming galaxies. We confirm previous empirical stellar mass (M*) to A(H\alpha) relations and the little or no evolution up to z = 1.47. For HiZELS galaxies, we provide an empirical parametrisation of the SFR as a function of (u-z)_rest colours and 3.6\mu m photometry. We find that the observed H\alpha\ luminosity is a dominant SFR tracer when (u-z)_rest ~< 0.9 mag or when 3.6\mu m photometry > 22 mag (Vega) or when M* < 10^9.7 Mo. We do not find any correlation between the [OII]/H\alpha\ and FIR luminosity, suggesting that this emission line ratio does not trace the extinction of the most obscured star-forming regions. The luminosity-limited HiZELS sample tends to lie above of the so-called `main sequence' for star-forming galaxies, especially at low M*. This work suggests that obscured star formation is linked to the assembly of M*, with deeper potential wells in massive galaxies providing dense, heavily obscured environments in which stars can form rapidly.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; 434(4). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stellar archaeology shows that massive elliptical galaxies formed rapidly about ten billion years ago with star-formation rates of above several hundred solar masses per year. Their progenitors are probably the submillimetre bright galaxies at redshifts z greater than 2. Although the mean molecular gas mass (5 × 10(10) solar masses) of the submillimetre bright galaxies can explain the formation of typical elliptical galaxies, it is inadequate to form elliptical galaxies that already have stellar masses above 2 × 10(11) solar masses at z ≈ 2. Here we report multi-wavelength high-resolution observations of a rare merger of two massive submillimetre bright galaxies at z = 2.3. The system is seen to be forming stars at a rate of 2,000 solar masses per year. The star-formation efficiency is an order of magnitude greater than that of normal galaxies, so the gas reservoir will be exhausted and star formation will be quenched in only around 200 million years. At a projected separation of 19 kiloparsecs, the two massive starbursts are about to merge and form a passive elliptical galaxy with a stellar mass of about 4 × 10(11) solar masses. We conclude that gas-rich major galaxy mergers with intense star formation can form the most massive elliptical galaxies by z ≈ 1.5.
    Nature 05/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Massive present-day early-type (elliptical and lenticular) galaxies probably gained the bulk of their stellar mass and heavy elements through intense, dust-enshrouded starbursts-that is, increased rates of star formation-in the most massive dark-matter haloes at early epochs. However, it remains unknown how soon after the Big Bang massive starburst progenitors exist. The measured redshift (z) distribution of dusty, massive starbursts has long been suspected to be biased low in z owing to selection effects, as confirmed by recent findings of systems with redshifts as high as ∼5 (refs 2-4). Here we report the identification of a massive starburst galaxy at z = 6.34 through a submillimetre colour-selection technique. We unambiguously determined the redshift from a suite of molecular and atomic fine-structure cooling lines. These measurements reveal a hundred billion solar masses of highly excited, chemically evolved interstellar medium in this galaxy, which constitutes at least 40 per cent of the baryonic mass. A 'maximum starburst' converts the gas into stars at a rate more than 2,000 times that of the Milky Way, a rate among the highest observed at any epoch. Despite the overall downturn in cosmic star formation towards the highest redshifts, it seems that environments mature enough to form the most massive, intense starbursts existed at least as early as 880 million years after the Big Bang.
    Nature 04/2013; 496(7445):329-333. · 38.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

177 Citations
336.18 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • University of Copenhagen
      • Dark Cosmology Centre (DARK)
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2010–2014
    • University of California, Irvine
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Irvine, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • University of Lyon
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2012
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      • Institut d'astrophysique spatiale (IAS)
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2009–2012
    • Durham University
      • Department of Physics
      Durham, England, United Kingdom
    • The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom