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A search for dense gas in luminous submillimeter galaxies with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope

Greve, T. R. and Hainline, L. J. and Blain, A. W. and Smail, I. and Ivison, R. J. and Papadopoulos, P. P. (2006) A search for dense gas in luminous submillimeter galaxies with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope. Astronomical Journal, 132 (5). pp. 1938-1943. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.1086/507787.

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We report deep K-band (18-27 GHz) observations with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope of HCN(1-0) line emission toward the two submillimeter-selected galaxies (SMGs) SMM J02399-0136 (z = 2.81) and SMM J16359+6612 (z = 2.52). For both sources we have obtained spectra with channel-to-channel rms noise of σ ≤ 0.5 mJy, resulting in velocity-integrated line fluxes ~< 0.1 Jy km s^(-1), although we do not detect either source. Such sensitive observations, aided by gravitational lensing of the sources, permit us to put upper limits of L'HCN ~< 2 × 10^(10) K km s^(-1) pc^2 on the intrinsic HCN(1-0) line luminosities of the two SMGs. The far-infrared (FIR) luminosities for all three SMGs with sensitive HCN(1-0) observations to date are found to be consistent with the tight FIR-HCN luminosity correlation observed in Galactic molecular clouds, quiescent spiral galaxies, and (ultra) luminous infrared galaxies in the local universe. Thus, the observed HCN luminosities remain in accordance with what is expected from the universal star formation efficiency per dense molecular gas mass implied by the aforementioned correlation, and more sensitive observations with today's large-aperture radio telescopes hold the promise of detecting HCN(1-0) emission in similar objects in the distant universe.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Blain, A. W.0000-0001-7489-5167
Smail, I.0000-0003-3037-257X
Ivison, R. J.0000-0001-5118-1313
Additional Information:© 2006 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 March 14; accepted 2006 July 14. We thank the referee for useful comments that helped improve the paper substantially. We are grateful to NRAO for financial and scientific support, and in particular to the telescope operators at Green Bank for their expertise. We thank Ron Maddalena and Toney Minter for their help in reducing the data and for providing the opacity values used. L. J. H. was supported by the GBT graduate student funding program. A.W. B. acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Research Corporation. I. R. S. acknowledges support from the Royal Society.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: starburst
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:GREaj06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13764
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Jun 2009 22:45
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:40

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