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A New Population of High-z, Dusty Lyα Emitters and Blobs Discovered by WISE: Feedback Caught in the Act?

Bridge, Carrie R. and Blain, Andrew and Borys, Colin J. K. and Petty, Sara M. and Benford, Dominic J. and Eisenhardt, Peter and Farrah, Duncan and Griffith, Roger L. and Jarrett, Tom and Lonsdale, Carol and Stanford, Spencer A. and Stern, Daniel and Tsai, Chao-Wei and Wright, Edward L. and Wu, Jingwen (2013) A New Population of High-z, Dusty Lyα Emitters and Blobs Discovered by WISE: Feedback Caught in the Act? Astrophysical Journal, 769 (2). Art. No. 91. ISSN 0004-637X.

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By combining data from the NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission with optical spectroscopy from the W. M. Keck telescope, we discover a mid-IR color criterion that yields a 78% success rate in identifying rare, typically radio-quiet, 1.6 ≾ z ≾ 4.6 dusty Lyα emitters (LAEs). Of these, at least 37% have emission extended on scales of 30-100 kpc and are considered Lyα "blobs" (LABs). The objects have a surface density of only ~0.1 deg^(–2), making them rare enough that they have been largely missed in deep, small area surveys. We measured spectroscopic redshifts for 92 of these galaxies, and find that the LAEs (LABs) have a median redshift of 2.3 (2.5). The WISE photometry coupled with data from Herschel (Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA) reveals that these galaxies are in the Hyper Luminous IR galaxy regime (L IR ≳ 10^(13)-10^(14) L_☉) and have warm colors. They are typically more luminous and warmer than other dusty, z ~ 2 populations such as submillimeter-selected galaxies and dust-obscured galaxies. These traits are commonly associated with the dust being illuminated by intense active galactic nucleus activity. We hypothesize that the combination of spatially extended Lyα, large amounts of warm IR-luminous dust, and rarity (implying a short-lived phase) can be explained if the galaxies are undergoing brief, intense "feedback" transforming them from an extreme dusty starburst/QSO into a mature galaxy.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Blain, Andrew0000-0001-7489-5167
Petty, Sara M.0000-0003-0624-3276
Benford, Dominic J.0000-0002-9884-4206
Farrah, Duncan0000-0003-1748-2010
Stern, Daniel0000-0003-2686-9241
Tsai, Chao-Wei0000-0002-9390-9672
Wright, Edward L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Wu, Jingwen0000-0001-7808-3756
Alternate Title:A New Population of High Redshift, Dusty Lyman-Alpha Emitters and Blobs Discovered by WISE
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 October 18; accepted 2013 April 2; published 2013 May 7. The authors would like to thank the anonymous referee for suggestions that improved the clarity of this paper. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit ofMauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Facilities: WISE, Keck:I (LRIS), Herschel (PACS, SPIRE)
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: formation; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: starburst; infrared: galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120604-084501850
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Carrie R. Bridge et al 2013 ApJ 769 91
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31790
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Jul 2012 17:33
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:55

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