The ALMA spectroscopic survey in the Hubble ultra deep field: molecular gas reservoirs in high-redshift galaxies

Sargent, Mark and et al, (2016) The ALMA spectroscopic survey in the Hubble ultra deep field: molecular gas reservoirs in high-redshift galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 833 (1). ISSN 0004-637X

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We study the molecular gas properties of high-z galaxies observed in the ALMA Spectroscopic Survey (ASPECS) that targets an ∼1 arcmin2 region in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF), a blind survey of CO emission (tracing molecular gas) in the 3 and 1 mm bands. Of a total of 1302 galaxies in the field, 56 have spectroscopic redshifts and correspondingly well-defined physical properties. Among these, 11 have infrared luminosities LIR > 1011 Lε, i.e., a detection in CO emission was expected. Out of these, 7 are detected at various significance in CO, and 4 are undetected in CO emission. In the CO-detected sources, we find CO excitation conditions that are lower than those typically found in starburst/sub-mm galaxy/QSO environments. We use the CO luminosities (including limits for non-detections) to derive molecular gas masses. We discuss our findings in the context of previous molecular gas observations at high redshift (star formation law, gas depletion times, gas fractions): the CO-detected galaxies in the UDF tend to reside on the low-LIR envelope of the scatter in the L L ¢ IR – CO relation, but exceptions exist. For the CO-detected sources, we find an average depletion time of ∼1 Gyr, with significant scatter. The average molecularto-stellar mass ratio (MH2/M*) is consistent with earlier measurements of main-sequence galaxies at these redshifts, and again shows large variations among sources. In some cases, we also measure dust continuum emission. On average, the dust-based estimates of the molecular gas are a factor ∼2–5× smaller than those based on CO. When we account for detections as well as non-detections, we find large diversity in the molecular gas properties of the high-redshift galaxies covered by ASPECS.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Research Centres and Groups: Astronomy Centre
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Mark Sargent
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 13:56
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 23:14

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