A Caltech Library Service

A kiloparsec-scale hyper-starburst in a quasar host less than 1 gigayear after the Big Bang

Walter, Fabian and Riechers, Dominik A. and Cox, Pierre and Neri, Roberto and Carilli, Chris and Bertoldi, Frank and Weiss, Axel and Maiolino, Roberto (2009) A kiloparsec-scale hyper-starburst in a quasar host less than 1 gigayear after the Big Bang. Nature, 457 (7230). pp. 699-701. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature07681.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The host galaxy of the quasar SDSS J114816.64+1525150.3 (at redshift z=6.42, when the Universe was less than a billion years old) has an infrared luminosity of 2.2 x 10^(13) times that of the Sun, presumably significantly powered by a massive burst of star formation. In local examples of extremely luminous galaxies, such as Arp 220, the burst of star formation is concentrated in a relatively small central region of <100 pc radius. It is not known on which scales stars are forming in active galaxies in the early Universe, at a time when they are probably undergoing their initial burst of star formation. We do know that at some early time, structures comparable to the spheroidal bulge of the Milky Way must have formed. Here we report a spatially resolved image of [C II] emission of the host galaxy of J114816.64+1525150.3 that demonstrates that its star-forming gas is distributed over a radius of about 750 pc around the centre. The surface density of the star formation rate averaged over this region is ~1,000M⊙[year^(-1) kpc^(-2). This surface density is comparable to the peak in Arp 220, although about two orders of magnitude larger in area. This vigorous star-forming event is likely to give rise to a massive spheroidal component in this system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Walter, Fabian0000-0003-4793-7880
Riechers, Dominik A.0000-0001-9585-1462
Cox, Pierre0000-0003-2027-8221
Neri, Roberto0000-0002-7176-4046
Carilli, Chris0000-0001-6647-3861
Bertoldi, Frank0000-0002-1707-1775
Weiss, Axel0000-0003-4678-3939
Additional Information:© 2009 Nature Publishing Group. Received 25 July; accepted 18 November 2008. This work is based on observations carried out with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. IRAM is supported by MPG (Germany), INSU/CNRS (France) and IGN (Spain). D.R. acknowledges support from NASA through a Hubble Fellowship awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA. C.C. acknowledges support from the Max-Planck Gesellschaft and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung through the Max-Planck-Forschungspreis 2005. F.W. and D.R. appreciate the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics, where this manuscript was written.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)UNSPECIFIED
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Alexander von Humboldt StiftungUNSPECIFIED
Non-Subject Keywords:ultraluminous galaxies; molecular gas; dust-emission; high-redshift; Z-greater-than-6; nucleus; Z=6.42
Issue or Number:7230
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090423-083921966
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14051
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Aug 2009 17:33
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:42

Repository Staff Only: item control page