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Published July 10, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Spectroscopic confirmation of an extreme starburst at redshift 4.547


We report the spectroscopic confirmation of a submillimeter galaxy (SMG) at z = 4.547 with an estimated LIR = (0.5–2.0) x 10¹³ L☉. The spectra, mid-IR, and X-ray properties indicate the bolometric luminosity is dominated by star formation at a rate of >1000 M☉, yr⁻¹. Multiple, spatially separated components are visible in the Lyα line with an observed velocity difference of up to 380 km s⁻¹ and the object morphology indicates a merger. The best-fit spectral energy distribution and spectral line indicators suggest the object is 2–8 Myr old and contains >10⁻¹⁰ M☉ of stellar mass. This object is a likely progenitor for the massive early-type systems seen at z ~ 2.

Additional Information

© 2008 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 2 (2008 July 10); received 2008 April 4; accepted for publication 2008 June 4; published 2008 June 27. Support for this work was provided by the Spitzer Science Center which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under NASA contract 1407, NASA through contract 1278386 issued by the JPL, and NASA grant HST-GO-09822. C. C. thanks the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Humboldt-Stiftung for support through the Max-Planck-Forschungspreis.

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