P. C. Hewett

The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (244)894.34 Total impact


  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: High ionization star forming (SF) galaxies are easily identified with strong emission line techniques such as the BPT diagram, and form an obvious ionization sequence on such diagrams. We use a locally optimally emitting cloud model to fit emission line ratios that constrain the excitation mechanism, spectral energy distribution, abundances and physical conditions along the star-formation ionization sequence. Our analysis takes advantage of the identification of a sample of pure star-forming galaxies, to define the ionization sequence, via mean field independent component analysis. Previous work has suggested that the major parameter controlling the ionization level in SF galaxies is the metallicity. Here we show that the observed SF- sequence could alternatively be interpreted primarily as a sequence in the distribution of the ionizing flux incident on gas spread throughout a galaxy. Metallicity variations remain necessary to model the SF-sequence, however, our best models indicate that galaxies with the highest and lowest observed ionization levels (outside the range -0.37 < log [O III]/H\b{eta} < -0.09) require the variation of an additional physical parameter other than metallicity, which we determine to be the distribution of ionizing flux in the galaxy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the extinction/reddening of ~35,000 uniformly selected quasars with in order to better understand their intrinsic optical/ultraviolet (UV) spectral energy distributions. Using rest-frame optical-UV photometry taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's (SDSS) 7th data release, cross-matched to WISE in the mid-infrared, 2MASS and UKIDSS in the near-infrared, and GALEX in the UV, we isolate outliers in the color distribution and find them well described by an SMC-like reddening law. A hierarchical Bayesian model with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling method was used to find distributions of power law indices and consistent with both the broad absorption line (BAL) and non-BAL samples. We find that, of the ugriz color-selected type 1 quasars in SDSS, 2.5% (13%) of the non-BAL (BAL) sample are consistent with and 0.1% (1.3%) with . Simulations show both populations of quasars are intrinsically bluer than the mean composite, with a mean spectral index () of −1.79 (−1.83). The emission and absorption-line properties of both samples reveal that quasars with intrinsically red continua have narrower Balmer lines and stronger high-ionization emission lines, the latter indicating a harder continuum in the extreme-UV and the former pointing to differences in black hole mass and/or orientation.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Astronomical Journal

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new population of z > 2 dust-reddened, type 1 quasars with 0.5 ≲ E(B − V) ≲ 1.5, selected using near-infrared (NIR) imaging data from the UKIDSS-LAS (Large Area Survey), ESO-VHS (European Southern Obseratory-VISTA Hemisphere Survey) and WISE surveys. NIR spectra obtained using the Very Large Telescope for 24 new objects bring our total sample of spectroscopically confirmed hyperluminous (>1013 L⊙), high-redshift dusty quasars to 38. There is no evidence for reddened quasars having significantly different Hα equivalent widths relative to unobscured quasars. The average black hole masses (∼109–1010 M⊙) and bolometric luminosities (∼1047 erg s−1) are comparable to the most luminous unobscured quasars at the same redshift, but with a tail extending to very high luminosities of ∼1048 erg s−1. 66 per cent of the reddened quasars are detected at >3σ at 22 μm by WISE. The average 6-μm rest-frame luminosity is log10(L6 μm/ erg s−1) = 47.1 ± 0.4, making the objects among the mid-infrared brightest active galactic nuclei (AGN) currently known. The extinction-corrected space density estimate now extends over three magnitudes (−30 < Mi < −27) and demonstrates that the reddened quasar luminosity function is significantly flatter than that of the unobscured quasar population at z = 2–3. At the brightest magnitudes, Mi ≲ −29, the space density of our dust-reddened population exceeds that of unobscured quasars. A model where the probability that a quasar becomes dust reddened increases at high luminosity is consistent with the observations and such a dependence could be explained by an increase in luminosity and extinction during AGN-fuelling phases. The properties of our obscured type 1 quasars are distinct from the heavily obscured, Compton-thick AGN that have been identified at much fainter luminosities and we conclude that they likely correspond to a brief evolutionary phase in massive galaxy formation.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the extinction/reddening of ~35,000 uniformly-selected quasars with 0<z<5.3 in order to better understand their intrinsic optical/UV SEDs. Using rest-frame optical-UV photometry taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's (SDSS) 7th data release, cross-matched to WISE in the mid-IR, 2MASS and UKIDSS in the near-IR, and GALEX in the UV, we isolate outliers in the color distribution and find them well described by an SMC-like reddening law. A hierarchical Bayesian model with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling method was used to find distributions of powerlaw indices and E(B-V) consistent with both the broad absorption line (BAL) and non-BAL samples. We find that, of the ugriz color-selected type 1 quasars in SDSS, 2.5% (13%) of the non-BAL (BAL) sample are consistent with E(B-V)>0.1 and 0.1% (1.3%) with E(B-V)>0.2. Simulations show both populations of quasars are intrinsically bluer than the mean composite, with a mean spectral index (${\alpha}_{\lambda}$) of -1.79 (-1.83). The emission and absorption-line properties of both samples reveal that quasars with intrinsically red continua have narrower Balmer lines and stronger ionizing spectral lines, the latter indicating a harder continuum in the extreme-UV and the former indicating either smaller BH mass or more face-on orientation.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. We present a method, named photo-type, to identify and accurately classify L and T dwarfs onto the standard spectral classification system using photometry alone. This enables the creation of large and deep homogeneous samples of these objects efficiently, without the need for spectroscopy. Methods. We created a catalogue of point sources with photometry in 8 bands, ranging from 0.75 to 4.6 microns, selected from an area of 3344 deg^2, by combining SDSS, UKIDSS LAS, and WISE data. Sources with 13.0 < J < 17.5, and Y - J > 0.8, were then classified by comparison against template colours of quasars, stars, and brown dwarfs. The L and T templates, spectral types L0 to T8, were created by identifying previously known sources with spectroscopic classifications, and fitting polynomial relations between colour and spectral type. Results. Of the 192 known L and T dwarfs with reliable photometry in the surveyed area and magnitude range, 189 are recovered by our selection and classification method. We have quantified the accuracy of the classification method both externally, with spectroscopy, and internally, by creating synthetic catalogues and accounting for the uncertainties. We find that, brighter than J = 17.5, photo-type classifications are accurate to one spectral sub-type, and are therefore competitive with spectroscopic classifications. The resultant catalogue of 1157 L and T dwarfs will be presented in a companion paper.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We present new observations of the highest-redshift quasar known, ULAS J1120+0641, redshift $z=7.084$, obtained in the optical, at near-, mid-, and far-infrared wavelengths, and in the sub-mm. We combine these results with published X-ray and radio observations to create the multiwavelength spectral energy distribution (SED), with the goals of measuring the bolometric luminosity $L_{\rm bol}$, and quantifying the respective contributions from the AGN and star formation. We find three components are needed to fit the data over the wavelength range $0.12-1000\,\mu$m: the unobscured quasar accretion disk and broad-line region, a dusty clumpy AGN torus, and a cool 47K modified black body to characterise star formation. Despite the low signal-to-noise ratio of the new long-wavelength data, the normalisation of any dusty torus model is constrained within $\pm40\%$. We measure a bolometric luminosity $L_{\rm bol}=2.6\pm0.6\times10^{47}\,$erg$\,$s$^{-1}=6.7 \pm 1.6\times10^{13}L_{\odot}$, to which the three components contribute $31\%,32\%,3\%$, respectively, with the remainder provided by the extreme UV $<0.12\,\mu$m. We tabulate the best-fit model SED. We use local scaling relations to estimate a star formation rate (SFR) in the range $60-270\,{\rm M}_\odot$/yr from the [C$\,{\scriptsize \rm II}$] line luminosity and the $158\,\mu$m continuum luminosity. An analysis of the equivalent widths of the [C$\,{\scriptsize \rm II}$] line in a sample of $z>5.7$ quasars suggests that these indicators are promising tools for estimating the SFR in high-redshift quasars in general. At the time observed the black hole was growing in mass more than 100 times faster than the stellar bulge, relative to the mass ratio measured in the local universe, i.e. compared to ${M_{\rm BH}}/{M_{\rm bulge}} \simeq 1.4\times10^{-3}$, for ULAS J1120+0641 we measure ${\dot{M}_{\rm BH}}/{\dot{M}_{\rm bulge}} \simeq 0.2$.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: An analysis of ≃19 500 narrow ( ≲ 200 km s−1) C iv λλ1548.2,1550.8 absorbers in ≃34 000 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar spectra is presented. The statistics of the number of absorbers as a function of outflow velocity shows that in approximately two-thirds of outflows, with multiple C iv absorbers present, absorbers are line-locked at the 500 km s−1 velocity separation of the C iv absorber doublet; appearing as ‘triplets’ in the quasar spectra. Line-locking is an observational signature of radiative line-driving in outflowing material, where the successive shielding of ‘clouds’ of material in the outflow locks the clouds together in outflow velocity. Line-locked absorbers are seen in both broad absorption line (BAL) quasars and non-BAL quasars with comparable frequencies and with velocities out to at least 20 000 km s−1. There are no detectable differences in the absorber properties and the dust content of single C iv doublets and line-locked C iv doublets. The gas associated with both single and line-locked C iv absorption systems includes material with a wide range of ionization potential (14–138 eV). Both single and line-locked C iv absorber systems show strong systematic trends in their ionization as a function of outflow velocity, with ionization decreasing rapidly with increasing outflow velocity. Initial simulations, employing cloudy, demonstrate that a rich spectrum of line-locked signals at various velocities may be expected due to significant opacities from resonance lines of Li-, He- and H-like ions of O, C and N, along with contributions from He ii and H i resonance lines. The simulations confirm that line-driving can be the dominant acceleration mechanism for clouds with N(H i) ≃ 1019 cm−2.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical and near-infrared imaging of the field of the z=7.0842 quasar ULAS J112001.48+064124.3 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. We use these data to search for galaxies that may be physically associated with the quasar, using the Lyman break technique, and find three such objects, although the detection of one in Spitzer Space Telescope imaging strongly suggests it lies at z~2. This is consistent with the field luminosity function and indicates that there is no excess of >L* galaxies within 1 Mpc of the quasar. A detection of the quasar shortward of the Ly-alpha line is consistent with the previously observed evolution of the intergalactic medium at z>5.5.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: High ionization star forming galaxies are easily identified with strong emission line techniques such as the BPT diagram, but for ionization levels below log([O III]/Hβ) ~ 0.3 they become confused with low-ionization AGN, making their physical interpretation difficult. Mean field independent component analysis (MFICA) is a novel approach to processing emission line spectra that can disentangle the AGN and starlight contributions to emission lines allowing the properties of pure AGN and pure starburst galaxies to be interpreted over a wide range of ionization. We applied MFICA to large sample of low-z SDSS galaxies and created subsamples of pure star forming galaxies resulting in a sequence of varying ionization. We used a locally optimally emitting (LOC) cloud model to fit emission line ratios that constrain the excitation mechanism, spectral energy distribution, abundances and physical conditions. Preliminary results in fitting diagrams that constrain the excitation mechanism indicate that the variation of starburst galaxies is due to a change in the radial distribution of clouds, rather than differences in metallicity, ionization parameter or spectral energy distribution. This confirms that MFICA is a powerful tool to assess differences in emission line properties solely due to starbursts. We briefly discuss future work that will decipher other properties in star forming galaxies.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of optical and near-infrared spectra of the only four z>6.5 quasars known to date, discovered in the UKIDSS-LAS and VISTA-VIKING surveys. Our data-set consists of VLT/X-Shooter and Magellan/FIRE observations of the z>6.5 quasars, and includes new deep VLT/X-Shooter observations of the highest redshift quasar known to date (z=7.1). These are the best optical/NIR spectroscopic data that are likely to be obtained for the z>6.5 sample using current 6-10 m facilities. We estimate the black hole mass, the Eddington ratio, and the SiIV/CIV, CIII]/CIV, and FeII/MgII emission-line flux ratios. We perform spectral modeling using a procedure that allows us to derive a probability distribution for the continuum components and to obtain the quasar properties weighted upon the underlying distribution of continuum models. The z>6.5 quasars show the same emission properties as their counterparts at lower redshifts. The z>6.5 quasars host black holes with masses of ~10^9 M_sun that are accreting close to the Eddington luminosity (<log(L_Bol/L_Edd)>= -0.4+/-0.2), in agreement with what has been observed for a sample of 4.0<z<6.5 quasars. By comparing the SiIV/CIV and CIII]/CIV flux ratios with the results obtained from luminosity-matched samples at z~6 and 2<z<4.5, we find no evidence of evolution of the line ratios with cosmic time. We compare the measured FeII/MgII flux ratios with those obtained for a sample of 4.0<z<6.4 sources. The two samples are analyzed using a consistent procedure. The FeII/MgII flux ratio does not show any evolution in the 4.0<z<7.1 redshift range. Under the assumption that the FeII/MgII traces the Fe/Mg abundance ratio, this implies the presence of major episodes of chemical enrichment in the quasar hosts in the first ~0.8 Gyr after the Big Bang.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the redshift z=7.084 quasar ULAS J112001.48+064124.3 obtained with Chandra and XMM-Newton. The quasar is detected as a point source with both observatories. The Chandra observation provides a precise position, confirming the association of the X-ray source and the quasar, while sufficient photons are detected in the XMM-Newton observation to yield a meaningful X-ray spectrum. In the XMM-Newton observation the quasar has a 2-10 keV luminosity of 4.7 +- 0.9 times 10^44 ergs/s and a spectral slope alpha = 1.6 +0.4 -0.3 (where f_nu propto nu^-alpha). The very soft spectrum suggests that the quasar is accreting above the Eddington rate, which would help to reduce the discrepancy between the age of the quasar implied by the small size of the ionized near zone in which it sits (<10^7 years), and the characteristic e-folding time (2.5 times 10^7 years if L/L_Edd=2). Such super-Eddington accretion would also alleviate the challenging constraints on the seed black hole mass, and the remnant of an individual population III star is a plausible progenitor if an average L/L_Edd>1.46 has been maintained over the quasar's lifetime.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the physical cause of the great range in the ionization level seen in the spectra of narrow lined active galactic nuclei (AGN). Mean field independent component analysis identifies examples of individual SDSS galaxies whose spectra are not dominated by emission due to star formation (SF), which we designate as AGN. We assembled high S/N ratio composite spectra of a sequence of these AGN defined by the ionization level of their narrow-line regions (NLR), extending down to very low-ionization cases. We used a local optimally emitting cloud (LOC) model to fit emission-line ratios in this AGN sequence. These included the weak lines that can be measured only in the co-added spectra, providing consistency checks on strong line diagnostics. After integrating over a wide range of radii and densities our models indicate that the radial extent of the NLR is the major parameter in determining the position of high to moderate ionization AGN along our sequence, providing a physical interpretation for their systematic variation. Higher ionization AGN contain optimally emitting clouds that are more concentrated towards the central continuum source than in lower ionization AGN. Our LOC models indicate that for the objects that lie on our AGN sequence, the ionizing luminosity is anticorrelated with the NLR ionization level, and hence anticorrelated with the radial concentration and physical extent of the NLR. A possible interpretation that deserves further exploration is that the ionization sequence might be an age sequence where low ionization objects are older and have systematically cleared out their central regions by radiation pressure. We consider that our AGN sequence instead represents a mixing curve of SF and AGN spectra, but argue that while many galaxies do have this type of composite spectra, our AGN sequence appears to be a special set of objects with negligible SF excitation.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present an analysis of the optical spectra of narrow emission-line galaxies, based on mean field independent component analysis (MFICA). Samples of galaxies were drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and used to generate compact sets of `continuum' and `emission-line' component spectra. These components can be linearly combined to reconstruct the observed spectra of a wider sample of galaxies. Only 10 components - five continuum and five emission line - are required to produce accurate reconstructions of essentially all narrow emission-line galaxies; the median absolute deviations of the reconstructed emission-line fluxes, given the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the observed spectra, are 1.2-1.8 sigma for the strong lines. After applying the MFICA components to a large sample of SDSS galaxies we identify the regions of parameter space that correspond to pure star formation and pure active galactic nucleus (AGN) emission-line spectra, and produce high S/N reconstructions of these spectra. The physical properties of the pure star formation and pure AGN spectra are investigated by means of a series of photoionization models, exploiting the faint emission lines that can be measured in the reconstructions. We are able to recreate the emission line strengths of the most extreme AGN case by assuming the central engine illuminates a large number of individual clouds with radial distance and density distributions, f(r) ~ r^gamma and g(n) ~ n^beta, respectively. The best fit is obtained with gamma = -0.75 and beta = -1.4. From the reconstructed star formation spectra we are able to estimate the starburst ages. These preliminary investigations serve to demonstrate the success of the MFICA-based technique in identifying distinct emission sources, and its potential as a tool for the detailed analysis of the physical properties of galaxies in large-scale surveys.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first sample of spectroscopically confirmed heavily reddened broad-line quasars selected using the new near-infrared VISTA Hemisphere Survey and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky survey. Observations of four candidates with (J − K) > 2.5 and K ≤ 16.5 over ∼180 deg2 lead to confirmation that two are highly dust-reddened broad-line Type 1 quasars at z ∼ 2. The typical dust extinctions are AV ∼ 2–2.5 mag. We measure black hole masses of ∼109 M⊙ and extinction-corrected bolometric luminosities of ∼1047 erg s−1, making them some of the brightest Type 1 quasars currently known. Despite this, these quasars lie well below the detection limits of wide-field optical surveys like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with iAB > 22. We also present WISE photometry at 3–22 μm, for our full sample of spectroscopically confirmed reddened quasars including those selected from the UKIDSS Large Area Survey. We demonstrate that the rest-frame infrared spectral energy distributions of these reddened quasars are similar to ultraviolet-luminous Type 1 quasars with significant hot dust emission and starburst quasar hosts like Mrk 231. The average 12-μm flux density of our reddened quasars is similar to that of the recently discovered hyperluminous infrared galaxy (HyLIRG) WISE 1814+3412 (z = 2.452) at similar redshifts, with two of our reddened quasars also having comparable 22-μm flux densities to this extreme HyLIRG. These optically faint, heavily reddened broad-line quasars are therefore among the most mid-infrared-luminous galaxies at z ∼ 2, now being discovered using WISE.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present new measurements of the mean transmitted flux in the Lyα forest over 2 < z < 5 made using 6065 quasar spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data release 7 (SDSS DR7). We exploit the general lack of evolution in the mean quasar continuum to avoid the bias introduced by continuum fitting over the Lyα forest at high redshifts, which has been the primary systematic uncertainty in previous measurements of the mean Lyα transmission. The individual spectra are first combined into 26 composites with mean redshifts spanning 2.25 ≤ zcomp ≤ 5.08. The flux ratios of separate composites at the same rest wavelength are then used, without continuum fitting, to infer the mean transmitted flux, F(z), as a fraction of its value at z ∼ 2. Absolute values for F(z) are found by scaling our relative values to measurements made from high-resolution data by Faucher-Giguère et al. at z ≤ 2.5, where continuum uncertainties are minimal. We find that F(z) evolves smoothly with redshift, with no evidence of a previously reported feature at z ≃ 3.2. This trend is consistent with a gradual evolution of the ionization and thermal state of the intergalactic medium over 2 < z < 5. Our results generally agree with the most careful measurements to date made from high-resolution data, but offer much greater precision and extend to higher redshifts. This work also improves upon previous efforts using SDSS spectra by significantly reducing the level of systematic errors.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The results of a large area, ∼600 deg2, K-band flux-limited spectroscopic survey for luminous quasars are presented. The survey utilizes the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS) in regions of sky within the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) footprint. The K-band excess (KX) of all quasars with respect to Galactic stars is exploited in combination with a photometric redshift/classification scheme to identify quasar candidates for spectroscopic follow-up observations. The data contained within this investigation will be able to provide new constraints on the fraction of luminous quasars reddened by dust with E(B − V) ≤ 0.5 mag. The spectroscopic sample is defined using the K-band, 14.0 ≤ K ≤ 16.6, and SDSS i-band limits of i = 19.5, 19.7 and 22.0 over sky areas of 287, 150 and 196 deg2, respectively. The survey includes >3200 known quasars from the SDSS and more than 250 additional confirmed quasars from the KX selection. A well-defined subsample of quasars in the redshift interval 1.0 ≤ z ≤ 3.5 includes 1152 objects from the SDSS and 172 additional KX-selected quasars. The quasar selection is >95 per cent complete with respect to known SDSS quasars and >95 per cent efficient, largely independent of redshift and i-band magnitude. The properties of the new KX-selected quasars confirm the known redshift-dependent effectiveness of the SDSS quasar selection and provide a sample of luminous quasars experiencing intermediate levels of extinction by dust. The catalogue represents an important step towards the assembly of a well-defined sample of luminous quasars that may be used to investigate the properties of quasars experiencing intermediate levels of dust extinction within their host galaxies or due intervening absorption line systems.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Using the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, we report the detection of the 158 {mu}m [C II] emission line and underlying dust continuum in the host galaxy of the quasar ULAS J112001.48+064124.3 (hereafter J1120+0641) at z 7.0842 {+-} 0.0004. This is the highest redshift detection of the [C II] line to date, and allows us to put the first constraints on the physical properties of the host galaxy of J1120+0641. The [C II] line luminosity is 1.2 {+-} 0.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 9} L{sub Sun }, which is a factor {approx}4 lower than observed in a luminous quasar at z = 6.42 (SDSS J1148+5251). The underlying far-infrared (FIR) continuum has a flux density of 0.61 {+-} 0.16 mJy, similar to the average flux density of z {approx} 6 quasars that were not individually detected in the rest-frame FIR. Assuming that the FIR luminosity of L{sub FIR} = 5.8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11}-1.8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12} L{sub Sun} is mainly powered by star formation, we derive a star formation rate in the range 160-440 M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} and a total dust mass in the host galaxy of 6.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7}-5.7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} M{sub Sun} (both numbers have significant uncertainties given the unknown nature of dust at these redshifts). The [C II] line width of {sigma}{sub V} = 100 {+-} 15 km s{sup -1} is among the smallest observed when compared to the molecular line widths detected in z {approx} 6 quasars. Both the [C II] and dust continuum emission are spatially unresolved at the current angular resolution of 2.0 Multiplication-Sign 1.7 arcsec{sup 2} (corresponding to 10 Multiplication-Sign 9 kpc{sup 2} at the redshift of J1120+0641).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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    ABSTRACT: Using the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, we report the detection of the 158 micron [CII] emission line and underlying dust continuum in the host galaxy of the quasar ULAS J112001.48+064124.3 (hereafter J1120+0641) at z=7.0842+/-0.0004. This is the highest redshift detection of the [CII] line to date, and allows us to put first constraints on the physical properties of the host galaxy. The [CII] line luminosity is (1.2+/-0.2)x10^9 Lsun, which is a factor ~4 lower than observed in a luminous quasar at z=6.42 (SDSS J1148+5251). The underlying far-infrared (FIR) continuum has a flux density of 0.61+/-0.16 mJy, similar to the average flux density of z~6 quasars that were not individually detected in the rest-frame FIR. Assuming the FIR luminosity of L_FIR = 5.8x10^11-1.8x10^12 Lsun is mainly powered by star-formation, we derive a star-formation rate in the range 160-440 Msun/yr and a total dust mass in the host galaxy of 6.7x10^7-5.7x10^8 Msun (both numbers have significant uncertainties given the unknown nature of dust at these redshifts). The [CII] line width of sigma_V=100+/-15 km/s is among the smallest observed when compared to the molecular line widths detected in z~6 quasars. Both the [CII] and dust continuum emission are spatially unresolved at the current angular resolution of 2.0x1.7 arcsec^2 (corresponding to 10x9 kpc^2 at the redshift of J1120+0641).
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012

Publication Stats

11k Citations
894.34 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011-2016
    • The University of Western Ontario
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      London, Ontario, Canada
    • York University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1985-2015
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998-2014
    • Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 1995-2004
    • Cambridge Eco
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002
    • Collège de France
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1994-1996
    • The University of Arizona
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1987-1996
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1991-1993
    • European Southern Observatory
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1989
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada