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Abstract Detail

13 January, 2006 - 9:55 AM

High-resolution millimeter imaging of submillimeter galaxies

Linda Tacconi (MPE), Roberto Neri, Reinhard Genzel, Scott Chapman, Ian Smail, Rob Ivison, Frank Bertoldi, Andrew Blain, Pierre Cox, Thomas Greve, Alain Omont

I will summarize results from an ongoing study of high resolution (0.6" - 1") interferometry of z ~ 2 - 3 submillimeter galaxies made with the IRAM interferometer at the Plateau de Bure. The redshifted CO 3-2 or 4-3 line profiles often are double-peaked, indicative of orbital motion either in a single rotating disk or of a merger of two galaxies. The millimeter line and continuum emission is compact; we marginally resolve the sources or are able to obtain tight upper limits to their intrinsic sizes in all cases we have studied so far. The measurements show that the submillimeter galaxies we have observed resemble scaled-up and more gas rich versions of the local Universe, ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) population. Their central densities and potential well depths are much greater than in other z ~ 2 - 3 galaxy samples studied so far. We interpret the data in the framework of a maximal starburst, where most of the available initial gas reservoir is converted to stars over a few dynamical timescales.


Conference Photo by Jim Condon - Click to enlarge