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A search for neutral carbon towards two z = 4.05 submillimetre galaxies, GN 20 and GN 20.2

Casey, C. M. and Chapman, S. C. and Daddi, E. and Dannerbauer, H. and Pope, A. and Scott, D. and Bertoldi, F. and Beswick, R. J. and Blain, A. W. and Cox, P. and Genzel, R. and Greve, T. R. and Ivison, R. J. and Muxlow , T. W. B. and Neri, R. and Omont, A. and Smail, I. and Tacconi, L. J. (2009) A search for neutral carbon towards two z = 4.05 submillimetre galaxies, GN 20 and GN 20.2. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 400 (2). pp. 670-676. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Using the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) we have searched for the upper fine structure line of neutral carbon [C I(^3P_2 → ^3P_1), ν_(rest) = 809 GHz] and ^(12)CO(J = 7 → 6) (ν_(rest) = 806 GHz) towards the submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) GN20 (SMM J123711.9+622212, z = 4.055) and GN20.2 (SMMJ123708.8+622202, z = 4.051). The far-infrared continuum is detected at 8σ significance in GN20, with a flux density of S_(1.8mm) = 1.9 ± 0.2mJy, while no continuum is detected in GN20.2. Both sources are statistically undetected in both CI(^3P_2 → ^3P1) and ^(12)CO(J = 7→6) lines; we derive line luminosity limits for both C I and CO of L^'≾ X 2 × 10^(10) Kkms^(−1_ pc^2. Assuming carbon excitation temperatures of T _(ex) = 30 K (the galaxies’ measured dust temperatures), we infer CI mass limits of M_(CI) < 5.4 × 10^6 M_⊙ (GN 20) and M_(CI) < 6.8 × 10^6 M-⊙ (GN 20.2). The derived C I abundance limits are <1.8 × 10^(−5) for GN20 and <3.8 × 10^(−)5 for GN20.2, implying that the systems have Milky Way level carbon enrichment (X[C I]/X[H_2]) or lower, similar to high-redshift carbon-detected systems (at 5 × 10^(−5)) but about 50 times less than the carbon enrichment of local starburst galaxies. Observations of GN20 and GN20.2 in high-resolution MERLIN+VLA (Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network+Very Large Array) radio maps of GOODS-N (Great Observatories Origin Deep Survey-North) are used to further constrain the sizes and locations of active regions.We conclude that the physical gas properties of young rapidly evolving systems like GN20 and GN20.2 are likely significantly different than starburst/ULIRG (ultraluminous infrared galaxy) environments in the local Universe yet similar to z ~ 2 SMGs. Unless gravitationally amplified examples can be found, observations of galaxies like GN20 will require the order of magnitude increase in sensitivity of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) to constrain their C I and high-J CO content, despite the fact that they are the brightest systems at z ~ 4.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Casey, C. M.0000-0002-0930-6466
Daddi, E.0000-0002-3331-9590
Pope, A.0000-0001-8592-2706
Scott, D.0000-0002-6878-9840
Bertoldi, F.0000-0002-1707-1775
Blain, A. W.0000-0001-7489-5167
Cox, P.0000-0003-2027-8221
Genzel, R.0000-0002-2767-9653
Ivison, R. J.0000-0001-5118-1313
Neri, R.0000-0002-7176-4046
Omont, A.0000-0002-4721-3922
Smail, I.0000-0003-3037-257X
Tacconi, L. J.0000-0002-1485-9401
Additional Information:© 2009 RAS. Accepted 2009 August 7. Received 2009 August 6; in original form 2009 June 30. Based on observations carried out with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain). We acknowledge the use of GILDAS software ( CMC thanks the Gates-Cambridge Trust and IS thanks STFC for support. ED gratefully acknowledges funding support from ANR-08-JCJC-0008.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-08-JCJC-0008
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Gates-Cambridge TrustUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: individual: GN 20, galaxies: individual: GN 20.2, galaxies: starburst
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100108-134347556
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17114
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Jan 2010 23:00
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:22

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