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A Massive, Distant Proto-Cluster at z = 2.47 Caught in a Phase of Rapid Formation

Casey, C. M. and Cooray, A. and Capak, P. and Fu, H. and Kovac, K. and Lilly, S. and Sanders, D. B. and Scoville, N. Z. and Treister, E. (2015) A Massive, Distant Proto-Cluster at z = 2.47 Caught in a Phase of Rapid Formation. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 808 (2). Art. No. L33. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/808/2/L33.

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Numerical simulations of cosmological structure formation show that the universe's most massive clusters, and the galaxies living in those clusters, assemble rapidly at early times (2.5 < z < 4). While more than 20 proto-clusters have been observed at z ≳ 2 based on associations of 5–40 galaxies around rare sources, the observational evidence for rapid cluster formation is weak. Here we report observations of an asymmetric filamentary structure at z = 2.47 containing 7 starbursting, submillimeter-luminous galaxies and 5 additional active galactic nuclei (AGNs) within a comoving volume of 15,000 Mpc3. As the expected lifetime of both the luminous AGN and starburst phase of a galaxy is ~100 Myr, we conclude that these sources were likely triggered in rapid succession by environmental factors or, alternatively, the duration of these cosmologically rare phenomena is much longer than prior direct measurements suggest. The stellar mass already built up in the structure is ~10^(12) M⊙ and we estimate that the cluster mass will exceed that of the Coma supercluster at z ~ 0. The filamentary structure is in line with hierarchical growth simulations that predict that the peak of cluster activity occurs rapidly at z > 2.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Casey, C. M.0000-0002-0930-6466
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
Capak, P.0000-0003-3578-6843
Fu, H.0000-0001-9608-6395
Lilly, S.0000-0002-6423-3597
Sanders, D. B.0000-0002-1233-9998
Scoville, N. Z.0000-0002-0438-3323
Treister, E.0000-0001-7568-6412
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 May 8; accepted 2015 June 4; published 2015 July 24. We thank the anonymous referee for constructive comments which have improved the manuscript. 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 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and made possible by financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We also thank the Joint Astornomy Centre (run by STFC, NSERC, and NOSR) for operation of the JCMT and SCUBA-2 instrument. Mahalo nui loa to the kama’aina of Hawai’i for use of the cultural site of Maunakea for astronomical observing. Based in part on NASA/ESA HST data, operated by STScI of AURA Inc, under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Other observations obtained from the European Southern Observatory, Chile. C.M.C. acknowledges generous support of a McCue Fellowship from the UC Irvine Center for Cosmology. A.C. and C.M.C. acknowledge support from NSF AST-1313319, NSF CAREER 0645427, and NASA Herschel Science Center.
Group:COSMOS, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASANAS 5-26555
University of California IrvineUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: clusters: general – galaxies: starburst – large-scale structure of universe – quasars: general
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150831-104640271
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:A Massive, Distant Proto-cluster at z = 2.47 Caught in a Phase of Rapid Formation? C. M. Casey et al. 2015 ApJ 808 L33
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59987
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2015 03:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:28

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