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A massive protocluster of galaxies at a redshift of z ≈ 5.3

Capak, Peter L. and Riechers, Dominik and Scoville, Nick Z. and Carilli, Chris and Cox, Pierre and Neri, Roberto and Robertson, Brant and Salvato, Mara and Schinnerer, Eva and Yan, Lin and Wilson, Grant W. and Yun, Min and Civano, Francesca and Elvis, Martin and Karim, Alexander and Mobasher, Bahram and Staguhn, Johannes G. (2011) A massive protocluster of galaxies at a redshift of z ≈ 5.3. Nature, 470 (7333). pp. 233-235. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature09681.

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Massive clusters of galaxies have been found that date from as early as 3.9 billion years (3.9 Gyr; z = 1.62) after the Big Bang, containing stars that formed at even earlier epochs. Cosmological simulations using the current cold dark matter model predict that these systems should descend from ‘protoclusters’—early overdensities of massive galaxies that merge hierarchically to form a cluster. These protocluster regions themselves are built up hierarchically and so are expected to contain extremely massive galaxies that can be observed as luminous quasars and starbursts. Observational evidence for this picture, however, is sparse because high-redshift protoclusters are rare and difficult to observe. Here we report a protocluster region that dates from 1 Gyr (z = 5.3) after the Big Bang. This cluster of massive galaxies extends over more than 13 megaparsecs and contains a luminous quasar as well as a system rich in molecular gas. These massive galaxies place a lower limit of more than 4 × 10^(11) solar masses of dark and luminous matter in this region, consistent with that expected from cosmological simulations for the earliest galaxy clusters.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access Paper Paper
Capak, Peter L.0000-0003-3578-6843
Riechers, Dominik0000-0001-9585-1462
Scoville, Nick Z.0000-0002-0438-3323
Carilli, Chris0000-0001-6647-3861
Cox, Pierre0000-0003-2027-8221
Neri, Roberto0000-0002-7176-4046
Robertson, Brant0000-0002-4271-0364
Salvato, Mara0000-0001-7116-9303
Schinnerer, Eva0000-0002-3933-7677
Yan, Lin0000-0003-1710-9339
Wilson, Grant W.0000-0003-2705-9152
Yun, Min0000-0001-7095-7543
Civano, Francesca0000-0002-2115-1137
Karim, Alexander0000-0002-8414-9579
Staguhn, Johannes G.0000-0002-8437-0433
Alternate Title:A massive proto-cluster of galaxies at a redshift of z ≈  5.3
Additional Information:© 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 18 May; accepted 16 November 2010. Published online 12 January 2011. These results are based on observations with: the W. M. Keck Observatory, the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, the IRAM 30-m telescope with the GISMO 2-mm camera, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Subaru Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope with WIRCam and MegaPrime, the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Smithsonian Submillimeter Array Telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope with the AzTEC 1.1mm camera, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array. D.R. and B.R. acknowledge support from NASA through Hubble Fellowship grants awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute. P.L.C. and N.Z.S. acknowledge grant support from NASA. G.W.W., M.Y. and J.G.S. acknowledge grant support from the NSF. Author Contributions: P.L.C. led the spectroscopic effort, reduced the spectroscopic and photometric data, and led the scientific analysis including the optical and radio/millimetre fitting analysis and cluster properties. N.Z.S. led the spectroscopic and photometric follow-up efforts. D.R., C.C., P.C. and R.N. assisted with the physical interpretation of the radio data. B.R. provided cosmological simulations to check the significance of the protocluster and the likelihood of finding it. M.S., L.Y., M.E., F.C. and B.M. carried out the Keck observations and assisted with the data reduction. E.S. reduced and analysed the radio data. G.W.W. and M.Y. assisted with the submillimetre data analysis. F.C. and M.E. assisted with the X-ray data analysis. A.K. coordinated the 2-mm observations. J.G.S. conducted and reduced the 2-mm observations.
Group:COSMOS, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7333
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110228-112031430
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22548
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2011 18:47
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:05

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