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Enhanced [CII] emission in a z=4.76 submillimetre galaxy

By Carlos De Breuck, Roberto Maiolino, Paola Caselli, Kristen Coppin, Steve Hailey-Dunsheath and Tohru Nagao


We present the detection of bright [CII] emission in the z=4.76 submillimetre galaxy LESS J033229.4-275619 using the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment. This represents the highest redshift [CII] detection in a submm selected, star-formation dominated system. The AGN contributions to the [CII] and far-infrared (FIR) luminosities are small. We find an atomic mass derived from [CII] comparable to the molecular mass derived from CO. The ratio of the [CII], CO and FIR luminosities imply a radiation field strength G_0~10^3 and a density ~10^4 cm^-3 in a kpc-scale starburst, as seen in local and high redshift starbursts. The high L_[CII]/L_FIR=2.4x10^-3 and the very high L_[CII]/L_CO(1-0) ~ 10^4 are reminiscent of low metallicity dwarf galaxies, suggesting that the highest redshift star-forming galaxies may also be characterised by lower metallicities. We discuss the implications of a reduced metallicity on studies of the gas reservoirs, and conclude that especially at very high redshift, [CII] may be a more powerful and reliable tracer of the interstellar matter than CO.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures; accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letter

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1051/0004-6361/201116868
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