R. Hopwood

Imperial College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (72)371.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES) has identified large numbers of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) over a wide range in redshift. A detailed understanding of these DSFGs is hampered by the poor spatial resolution of Herschel. We present 870um 0.45" imaging obtained in Cycle 0 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of a sample of 29 HerMES DSFGs. The ALMA imaging reveals that these DSFGs comprise a total of 62 sources (down to the 5-sigma limit in our ALMA sample; sigma~0.2 mJy). Optical imaging indicates that 36 of the ALMA sources experience a significant flux boost from gravitational lensing (mu>1.1), but only 6 are strongly lensed and show multiple images. We introduce and make use of uvmcmcfit, a general purpose and publicly available Markov chain Monte Carlo visibility plane analysis tool to analyze the source properties. Combined with our previous work on brighter Herschel sources, the lens models presented here tentatively favor intrinsic number counts for DSFGs with a break near 8 mJy at 880um and a steep fall off at higher flux densities. Nearly 70% of the Herschel sources break down into multiple ALMA counterparts, consistent with previous research indicating that the multiplicity rate is high in bright sources discovered in single-dish sub-mm or FIR surveys. The ALMA counterparts to our Herschel targets are located significantly closer to each other than ALMA counterparts to sources found in the LABOCA ECDFS Submillimeter Survey. Theoretical models underpredict the excess number of sources with small separations seen in our ALMA sample. The high multiplicity rate and low projected separations between sources seen in our sample argue in favor of interactions and mergers plausibly driving both the prodigious emission from the brightest DSFGs as well as the sharp downturn above S_880 = 8 mJy.
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the behaviour of [CII]-157.74um forbidden fine-structure line observed in a sample of 28 galaxies selected from ~50deg^2 of the H-ATLAS survey. The sample is restricted to galaxies with flux densities higher than S_160um>150mJy and optical spectra from the GAMA survey at 0.02<z<0.2. Far-IR spectra centred on this redshifted line were taken with the PACS instrument on-board the Herschel Space Observatory. The galaxies span 10<log(L_IR/Lo)<12 (where L_IR=L_IR[8-1000um]) and 7.3<log(L_[CII]/Lo)<9.3, covering a variety of optical galaxy morphologies. The sample exhibits the so-called [CII] deficit at high IR luminosities, i.e. L_[CII]/L_IR (hereafter [CII]/IR) decreases at high L_IR. We find significant differences between those galaxies presenting [CII]/IR>2.5x10^-3 with respect to those showing lower ratios. In particular, those with high ratios tend to have: (1) L_IR<10^11Lo; (2) cold dust temperatures, T_d<30K; (3) disk-like morphologies in r-band images; (4) a WISE colour 0.5<S_12um/S_22um<1.0; (5) low surface brightness Sigma_IR~10^8-9 Lo kpc^-2, (6) and specific star-formation rates of sSFR~0.05-3 Gyr^-1. We suggest that the strength of the far-UV radiation fields ( ) is main parameter responsible for controlling the [CII]/IR ratio. It is possible that relatively high creates a positively charged dust grain distribution, impeding an efficient photo-electric extraction of electrons from these grains to then collisionally excite carbon atoms. Within the brighter IR population, 11<log(L_IR/Lo)<12, the low [CII]/IR ratio is unlikely to be modified by [CII] self absorption or controlled by the presence of a moderately luminous AGN (identified via the BPT diagram).
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2015; 449(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv439 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A systematic programme of calibration observations was carried out to monitor the performance of the SPIRE FTS instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory. Observations of planets (including the prime point-source calibrator, Uranus), asteroids, line sources, dark sky, and cross-calibration sources were made in order to monitor repeatability and sensitivity, and to improve FTS calibration. We present a complete analysis of the full set of calibration observations and use them to assess the performance of the FTS. Particular care is taken to understand and separate out the effect of pointing uncertainties, including the position of the internal beam steering mirror for sparse observations in the early part of the mission. The repeatability of spectral line centre positions is <5km/s, for lines with signal-to-noise ratios >40, corresponding to <0.5-2.0% of a resolution element. For spectral line flux, the repeatability is better than 6%, which improves to 1-2% for spectra corrected for pointing offsets. The continuum repeatability is 4.4% for the SLW band and 13.6% for the SSW band, which reduces to ~1% once the data have been corrected for pointing offsets. Observations of dark sky were used to assess the sensitivity and the systematic offset in the continuum, both of which were found to be consistent across the FTS detector arrays. The average point-source calibrated sensitivity for the centre detectors is 0.20 and 0.21 Jy [1 sigma; 1 hour], for SLW and SSW. The average continuum offset is 0.40 Jy for the SLW band and 0.28 Jy for the SSW band.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2015; 449(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stv353 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present Herschel far-IR photometry and spectroscopy as well as ground based CO observations of an intermediate redshift (0.21 < z < 0.88) sample of Herschel-selected (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies (L_IR > 10^11.5L_sun). With these measurements we trace the dust continuum, far-IR atomic line emission, in particular [CII]\,157.7microns, as well as the molecular gas of z~0.3 (U)LIRGs and perform a detailed investigation of the interstellar medium of the population. We find that the majority of Herschel-selected intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs have L_CII/L_FIR ratios that are a factor of about 10 higher than that of local ULIRGs and comparable to that of local normal and high-$z$ star forming galaxies. Using our sample to bridge local and high-z [CII] observations, we find that the majority of galaxies at all redshifts and all luminosities follow a L_CII-L_FIR relation with a slope of unity, from which local ULIRGs and high-z AGN dominated sources are clear outliers. We also confirm that the strong anti-correlation between the L_CII/L_FIR ratio and the far-IR color L_60/L_100 observed in the local Universe holds over a broad range of redshifts and luminosities, in the sense that warmer sources exhibit lower L_CII/L_FIR at any epoch. Intermediate redshift ULIRGs are also characterised by large molecular gas reservoirs and by lower star formation efficiencies compared to that of local ULIRGs. The high L_CII/L_FIR ratios, the moderate star formation efficiencies (L_LIR/L_CO or L_IR/M_gas) and the relatively low dust temperatures of our sample (which are also common characteristics of high-z star forming galaxies with ULIRG-like luminosities) indicate that the evolution of the physical properties of (U)LIRGs between the present day and z > 1 is already significant by z ~ 0.3.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 796(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/796/1/63 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel SPIRE instrument consists of an imaging photometric camera and an imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), both operating over a frequency range of 450-1550 GHz. In this paper, we briefly review the FTS design, operation, and data reduction, and describe in detail the approach taken to relative calibration (removal of instrument signatures) and absolute calibration against standard astronomical sources. The calibration scheme assumes a spatially extended source and uses the Herschel telescope as primary calibrator. Conversion from extended to point-source calibration is carried out using observations of the planet Uranus. The model of the telescope emission is shown to be accurate to within 6% and repeatable to better than 0.06% and, by comparison with models of Mars and Neptune, the Uranus model is shown to be accurate to within 3%. Multiple observations of a number of point-like sources show that the repeatability of the calibration is better than 1%, if the effects of the satellite absolute pointing error (APE) are corrected. The satellite APE leads to a decrement in the derived flux, which can be up to ~10% (1 sigma) at the high-frequency end of the SPIRE range in the first part of the mission, and ~4% after Herschel operational day 1011. The lower frequency range of the SPIRE band is unaffected by this pointing error due to the larger beam size. Overall, for well-pointed, point-like sources, the absolute flux calibration is better than 6%, and for extended sources where mapping is required it is better than 7%.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2014; 440(4):3658-3674. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu409 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first results from a spectroscopic survey of the [CII] 158um line from a sample of intermediate redshift (0.2<z<0.8) (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies, (U)LIRGs (LIR>10^11.5 Lsun), using the SPIRE-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) on board the Herschel Space Observatory. This is the first survey of [CII] emission, an important tracer of star-formation, at a redshift range where the star-formation rate density of the Universe increases rapidly. We detect strong [CII] 158um line emission from over 80% of the sample. We find that the [CII] line is luminous, in the range (0.8-4)x10^(-3) of the far-infrared continuum luminosity of our sources, and appears to arise from photodissociation regions on the surface of molecular clouds. The L[CII]/LIR ratio in our intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs is on average ~10 times larger than that of local ULIRGs. Furthermore, we find that the L[CII]/LIR and L[CII]/LCO(1-0) ratios in our sample are similar to those of local normal galaxies and high-z star-forming galaxies. ULIRGs at z~0.5 show many similarities to the properties of local normal and high-z star forming galaxies. Our findings strongly suggest that rapid evolution in the properties of the star forming regions of luminous infrared galaxies is likely to have occurred in the last 5 billion years.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 781(1). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/781/1/L15 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu413 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the mass-density radial profiles of the first five strong gravitational lens systems discovered by the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS). We present an enhancement of the semi-linear lens inversion method of Warren & Dye which allows simultaneous reconstruction of several different wavebands and apply this to dual-band imaging of the lenses acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope. The five systems analysed here have lens redshifts which span a range, 0.22<z<0.94. Our findings are consistent with other studies by concluding that: 1) the logarithmic slope of the total mass density profile steepens with decreasing redshift; 2) the slope is positively correlated with the average total projected mass density of the lens contained within half the effective radius and negatively correlated with the effective radius; 3) the fraction of dark matter contained within half the effective radius increases with increasing effective radius and increases with redshift.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 11/2013; 440(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu305 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use multiwavelength (0.12-500 μm) photometry from Herschel-ATLAS, WISE, UKIDSS, SDSS and GALEX to study 23 nearby spheroidal galaxies with prominent dust lanes (DLSGs). DLSGs are considered to be remnants of recent minor mergers, making them ideal laboratories for studying both the interstellar medium (ISM) of spheroids and minor-merger-driven star formation in the nearby Universe. The DLSGs exhibit star formation rates (SFRs) between 0.01 and 10 M⊙ yr-1, with a median of 0.26 M⊙ yr-1 (a factor of 3.5 greater than the average SG). The median dust mass, dust-to-stellar mass ratio and dust temperature in these galaxies are around 107.6 M⊙, ≈0.05 per cent and ≈19.5 K, respectively. The dust masses are at least a factor of 50 greater than that expected from stellar mass loss and, like the SFRs, show no correlation with galaxy luminosity, suggesting that both the ISM and the star formation have external drivers. Adopting literature gas-to-dust ratios and star formation histories derived from fits to the panchromatic photometry, we estimate that the median current and initial gas-to-stellar mass ratios in these systems are ≈4 and ≈7 per cent, respectively. If, as indicated by recent work, minor mergers that drive star formation in spheroids with (NUV - r) > 3.8 (the colour range of our DLSGs) have stellar mass ratios between 1:6 and 1:10, then the satellite gas fractions are likely ≥50 per cent.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2013; 435(2):1463-1468. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1629 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use galaxies from the Herschel-ATLAS survey, and a suite of ancillary simulations based on an isothermal dust model, to study our ability to determine the effective dust temperature, luminosity and emissivity index of 250um selected galaxies in the local Universe (z < 0.5). As well as simple far-infrared SED fitting of individual galaxies based on chi^2 minimisation, we attempt to derive the best global isothermal properties of 13,826 galaxies with reliable optical counterparts and spectroscopic redshifts. Using our simulations, we highlight the fact that applying traditional SED fitting techniques to noisy observational data in the Herschel Space Observatory bands introduces artificial anti-correlation between derived values of dust temperature and emissivity index. This is true even for galaxies with the most robust detections in our sample, making the results hard to interpret. We apply a method to determine the best-fit global values of isothermal effective temperature and emissivity index for z < 0.5 galaxies in H-ATLAS, deriving T = 22.3 +/- 0.1K and Beta = 1.98 +/- 0.02 (or T = 23.5 +/- 0.1K and Beta = 1.82 +/- 0.02 if we attempt to correct for bias by assuming that T and Beta are independent and normally distributed). We use our technique to test for an evolving emissivity index, finding only weak evidence. The median dust luminosity of our sample is log(Ldust/Lsolar) = 10.72 +/- 0.05 which (unlike T) shows little dependence on the choice of Beta used in our analysis, including whether it is variable or fixed. We use a further suite of simulations to emphasise the importance of the H-ATLAS PACS data for deriving dust temperatures at these redshifts, even though they are less sensitive than the SPIRE data. The majority of galaxies detected by H-ATLAS are normal star-forming galaxies, though a substantial minority (~31%) fall in the Luminous Infrared Galaxy category. (Abridged)
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2013; 436(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1737 · 5.23 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). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/779/1/25 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Upon its completion the Herschel ATLAS (H-ATLAS) will be the largest submillimetre survey to date, detecting close to half-a-million sources. It will only be possible to measure spectroscopic redshifts for a small fraction of these sources. However, if the rest-frame spectral energy distribution (SED) of a typical H-ATLAS source is known, this SED and the observed Herschel fluxes can be used to estimate the redshifts of the H-ATLAS sources without spectroscopic redshifts. In this paper, we use a subset of 40 H-ATLAS sources with previously measured redshifts in the range 0.5<z<4.2 to derive a suitable average template for high redshift H-ATLAS sources. We find that a template with two dust components T_c = 23.9 K, T_h = 46.9 K and ratio of mass of cold dust to mass of warm dust of 30.1) provides a good fit to the rest-frame fluxes of the sources in our calibration sample. We use a jackknife technique to estimate the accuracy of the redshifts estimated with this template, finding a root mean square of Delta z/(1+z) = 0.26. For sources for which there is prior information that they lie at z > 1 we estimate that the rms of Delta z/(1+z) = 0.12. We have used this template to estimate the redshift distribution for the sources detected in the H-ATLAS equatorial fields, finding a bimodal distribution with a mean redshift of 1.2, 1.9 and 2.5 for 250, 350 and 500 um selected sources respectively. \end{abstract}
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 435(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1369 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the redshift of HATLAS J132427.0+284452 (hereafter HATLAS J132427), a gravitationally lensed starburst galaxy, the first determined 'blind' by the Herschel Space Observatory. This is achieved via the detection of [C II] consistent with z = 1.68 in a far-infrared spectrum taken with the SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer. We demonstrate that the [C II] redshift is secure via detections of CO J = 2 - 1 and 3 - 2 using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy and the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique's Plateau de Bure Interferometer. The intrinsic properties appear typical of high-redshift starbursts despite the high lensing-amplified fluxes, proving the ability of the FTS to probe this population with the aid of lensing. The blind detection of [C II] demonstrates the potential of the SAFARI imaging spectrometer, proposed for the much more sensitive SPICA mission, to determine redshifts of multiple dusty galaxies simultaneously without the benefit of lensing.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 436(1). DOI:10.1093/mnrasl/slt122 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of CO molecular gas tracers in a sample of 500{\mu}m-selected Herschel-ATLAS galaxies at z<0.05 (cz<14990km/s). Using 22-500{\mu}m photometry from WISE, IRAS and Herschel, with HI data from the literature, we investigate correlations between warm and cold dust, and tracers of the gas in different phases. The correlation between global CO(3-2) line fluxes and FIR-submillimetre fluxes weakens with increasing IR wavelength ({\lambda}>60{\mu}m), as a result of colder dust being less strongly associated with dense gas. Conversely, CO(2-1) and HI line fluxes both appear to be better correlated with longer wavelengths, suggesting that cold dust is more strongly associated with diffuse atomic and molecular gas phases, consistent with it being at least partially heated by radiation from old stellar populations. The increased scatter at long wavelengths implies that submillimetre fluxes are a poorer tracer of SFR. Fluxes at 22 and 60{\mu}m are also better correlated with diffuse gas tracers than dense CO(3-2), probably due to very-small-grain emission in the diffuse interstellar medium, which is not correlated with SFR. The FIR/CO luminosity ratio and the dust mass/CO luminosity ratio both decrease with increasing luminosity, as a result of either correlations between mass and metallicity (changing CO/H2) or between CO luminosity and excitation [changing CO(3-2)/CO(1-0)].
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 436(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1584 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report spectroscopic and imaging observations of rotational transitions of cold CO and SiO in the ejecta of SN1987A, the first such emission detected in a supernova remnant. In addition to line luminosities for the CO J=1-0, 2-1, 6-5, and 7-6 transitions, we present upper limits for all other transitions up to J=13-12, collectively measured from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX), and the Herschel Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver (SPIRE). Simple models show the lines are emitted from at least 0.01 solar masses of CO at a temperature > 14 K, confined within at most 35% of a spherical volume expanding at ~ 2000 km/s. Moreover, we locate the emission within 1'' of the central debris. These observations, along with a partial observation of SiO, confirm the presence of cold molecular gas within supernova remnants and provide insight into the physical conditions and chemical processes in the ejecta. Furthermore, we demonstrate the powerful new window into supernova ejecta offered by submillimeter observations.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 07/2013; 773(2). DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/773/2/L34 · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We perform a stacking analysis of Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) data in order to obtain isothermal dust temperatures and rest-frame luminosities at 250 μm (L250), for a well-defined sample of 1599 radio sources over the H-ATLAS Phase 1/Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) area. The radio sample is generated using a combination of NRAO VLA Sky Survey data and K-band United Kingdom Infrared Telescope Deep Sky Survey-Large Area Survey data, over the redshift range 0.01 < z < 0.8. The far-infrared (FIR) properties of the sample are investigated as a function of 1.4-GHz luminosity, redshift, projected radio-source size and radio spectral index. In order to search for stellar-mass-dependent relations, we split the parent sample into those sources which are below and above 1.5 LK^{*}. After correcting for stellar mass and redshift, we find no relation between the 250-μm luminosity and the 1.4-GHz radio luminosity of radio active galactic nuclei. This implies that a galaxy's nominal radio luminosity has little or no bearing on the star formation rate (SFR) and/or dust mass content of the host system, although this does not mean that other variables (e.g. radio source size) related to the jets do not have an effect. The L250 of both the radio detected and non-radio-detected galaxies (defined as those sources not detected at 1.4 GHz but detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with r' < 22) rises with increasing redshift. Compact radio sources (<30 kpc) are associated with higher 250 μm luminosities and dust temperatures than their more extended (>30 kpc) counterparts. The higher dust temperature suggests that this may be attributed to enhanced SFRs in compact radio galaxies, but whether this is directly or indirectly due to radio activity (e.g. jet-induced or merger-driven star formation) is as yet unknown. For matched samples in LK and g'-r', sub-1.5 LK^{*} and super-1.5 LK^{*} radio-detected galaxies have 0.89±0.18 and 0.49±0.12 times the 250 μm luminosity of their non-radio-detected counterparts. Thus, while no difference in L250 is observed in sub-1.5 LK^{*} radio-detected galaxies, a strong deficit is observed in super-1.5 LK^{*} radio-detected galaxies. We explain these results in terms of the hotter, denser and richer halo environments massive radio galaxies maintain and are embedded in. These environments are expected to quench the cold gas and dust supply needed for further star formation and therefore dust production. Our results indicate that all massive radio galaxies (>1.5 LK^{*}) may have systematically lower FIR luminosities (˜25 per cent) than their colour-matched non-radio-detected counterparts. Finally, no relation between radio spectral index and L250 is found for the subset of 1.4-GHz radio sources with detections at 330 MHz.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2013; 432(1):609-625. DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt488 · 5.23 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; 498(7454). DOI:10.1038/nature12184 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We compare the environmental and star formation properties of far-infrared detected and non--far-infrared detected galaxies out to $z \sim0.5$. Using optical spectroscopy and photometry from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), with far-infrared observations from the {\em Herschel}-ATLAS Science Demonstration Phase (SDP), we apply the technique of Voronoi Tessellations to analyse the environmental densities of individual galaxies. Applying statistical analyses to colour, $r-$band magnitude and redshift-matched samples, we show there to be a significant difference at the 3.5$\sigma$ level between the normalized environmental densities of these two populations. This is such that infrared emission (a tracer of star formation activity) favours underdense regions compared to those inhabited by exclusively optically observed galaxies selected to be of the same $r-$band magnitude, colour and redshift. Thus more highly star-forming galaxies are found to reside in the most underdense environments, confirming previous studies that have proposed such a correlation. However, the degeneracy between redshift and far-infrared luminosity in our flux-density limited sample means that we are unable to make a stronger statement in this respect. We then apply our method to synthetic light cones generated from semi-analytic models, finding that over the whole redshift distribution the same correlations between star-formation rate and environmental density are found.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2013; 433(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt770 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) provides an unprecedented opportunity to search for blazars at sub-mm wavelengths. We cross-matched the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm (FIRST) radio source catalogue with the 11 655 sources brighter than 35 mJy at 500 μm in the ∼135 deg2 of the sky covered by the H-ATLAS equatorial fields at 9h and 15h, plus half of the field at 12h. We found that 379 of the H-ATLAS sources have a FIRST counterpart within 10 arcsec, including eight catalogued blazars (plus one known blazar that was found at the edge of one of the H-ATLAS maps). To search for additional blazar candidates we have devised new diagnostic diagrams and found that known blazars occupy a region of the log (S500 μm/S350 μm) versus log (S500 μm/S1.4 GHz) plane separated from that of sub-mm sources with radio emission powered by star formation, but shared with radio galaxies and steep-spectrum radio quasars. Using this diagnostic we have selected 12 further possible candidates that turn out to be scattered in the (r − z) versus (u − r) plane or in the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer colour–colour diagram, where known blazars are concentrated in well defined strips. This suggests that the majority of them are not blazars. Based on an inspection of all the available photometric data, including unpublished VISTA Kilo-degree Infrared Galaxy survey photometry and new radio observations, we found that the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of only one out of the 12 newly selected sources are compatible with being synchrotron dominated at least up to 500 μm, i.e. with being a blazar. Another object may consist of a faint blazar nucleus inside a bright star-forming galaxy. The possibility that some blazar hosts are endowed with active star formation is supported by our analysis of the SEDs of Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue blazars detected at both 545 and 857 GHz. The estimated rest-frame synchrotron peak frequencies of H-ATLAS blazars are in the range 11.5 ≤ log (νpeak, Hz) ≤ 13.7, implying that these objects are low synchrotron peak. Six of them also show evidence of an ultraviolet excess that can be attributed to emission from the accretion disc. Allowing for the possibility of misidentifications and of contamination of the 500 μm flux density by the dusty torus or by the host galaxy, we estimate that there are seven or eight pure synchrotron sources brighter than S500 μm = 35 mJy over the studied area, a result that sets important constraints on blazar evolutionary models.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2013; 430(3):1566-1577. DOI:10.1093/mnras/sts680 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a well-defined correlation between B-band face-on central optical depth due to dust, \tau^f_B, and the stellar mass surface density, \mu_{*}, of nearby (z < 0.13) spiral galaxies: log(\tau^f_B) = 1.12(+-0.11)log(\mu_{*}/M_sol kpc^2)-8.6(+-0.8). This relation was derived from a sample of spiral galaxies taken from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey and detected in the FIR/submm in the Herschel-ATLAS survey. Using a quantitative analysis of the NUV attenuation-inclination relation for complete samples of GAMA spirals categorized according to \mu_{*} we demonstrate that this correlation can be used to statistically correct for dust attenuation purely on the basis of optical photometry and S'ersic-profile morphological fits. Considered together with previously established empirical relationships between stellar mass, metallicity and gas mass, the near linearity and high constant of proportionality of the \tau^f_B-\mu_{*} relation disfavors a stellar origin for the bulk of refractory grains in spiral galaxies, instead being consistent with the existence of a ubiquitous and very rapid mechanism for the growth of dust in the ISM. We use the \tau^f_B-\mu_{*} relation in conjunction with the radiation transfer model for spiral galaxies of Popescu & Tuffs (2011) to derive intrinsic scaling relations between specific star formation rate (sSFR), stellar mass, and \mu_{*}, in which the attenuation of the UV light used to measure the SFR is corrected on an object-to-object basis. A marked reduction in scatter in these relations is achieved which is demonstrably due to correction of both the inclination-dependent and face-on components of attenuation. Our results are consistent with a picture of spiral galaxies in which most of the submm emission originates from grains residing in translucent structures, exposed to UV in the diffuse interstellar radiation field.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2013; 766:59. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/766/1/59 · 6.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

790 Citations
371.85 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2015
    • Imperial College London
      • Department of Physics
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2014
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Institute for Astronomy (IfA)
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Canterbury
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Christchurch, Canterbury Region, New Zealand
  • 2011–2013
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • University of California, Irvine
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Irvine, California, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2010
    • Imperial Valley College
      • Physics Department
      Imperial, California, United States
  • 2009
    • The Open University (UK)
      • Department of Physical Sciences
      Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom