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Faint Submillimeter Galaxies identified through their optical/near-infrared colours I: spatial clustering and halo masses

By Chian-Chou Chen, Ian Smail, A. M. Swinbank, James M. Simpson, Omar Almaini, Christopher J. Conselice, Will G. Hartley, Alice Mortlock, Chris Simpson and Aaron Wilkinson


The properties of submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) that are fainter than the confusion limit of blank-field single-dish surveys ($S_{850} \lesssim$ 2 mJy) are poorly constrained. Using a newly developed color selection technique, Optical-Infrared Triple Color (OIRTC), that has been shown to successfully {select} such faint SMGs, we identify a sample of 2938 OIRTC-selected galaxies, dubbed Triple Color Galaxies (TCGs), in the UKIDSS-UDS field. We show that these galaxies have a median 850 $\mu$m flux of S$_{850} = 0.96\pm0.04$ mJy (equivalent to a star-formation rate SFR $\sim60-100$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ based on SED fitting), representing the first large sample of faint SMGs that bridges the gap between bright SMGs and normal star-forming galaxies in S$_{850}$ and $L_{\rm IR}$. We assess the basic properties of TCGs and their relationship with other galaxy populations at $z\sim2$. We measure the two-point autocorrelation function for this population and derive a typical halo mass of log$_{10}$(M$_{\rm halo}$) $=12.9^{+0.2}_{-0.3}$, $12.7^{+0.1}_{-0.2}$, and $12.9^{+0.2}_{-0.3}$ $h^{-1}$M$_\odot$ at $z=1-2$, $2-3$, and $3-5$, respectively. Together with the bright SMGs (S$_{850} \gtrsim 2$ mJy) and a comparison sample of less far-infrared luminous star-forming galaxies, we find a lack of dependence between spatial clustering and S$_{850}$ (or SFR), suggesting that the difference between these populations may lie in their local galactic environment. Lastly, on the scale of $\sim8-17$ kpc at $1<z<5$ we find a tentative enhancement of the clustering of TCGs over the comparison star-forming galaxies, suggesting that some faint SMGs are physically associated pairs, perhaps reflecting a merging origin in their triggering.Comment: ApJ in press, 13 pages, 11 figure

Topics: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies, Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
Publisher: 'American Astronomical Society'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.3847/0004-637X/831/1/91
OAI identifier:

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