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Published September 1, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Detection of 1.6 × 10^(10) M_⊙ of Molecular Gas in the Host Galaxy of the z = 5.77 SDSS Quasar J0927+2001


We have detected emission by the CO(5-4) and (6-5) rotational transitions at z = 5.7722 ± 0.0006 from the host galaxy of the SDSS quasar J0927+2001 using the Plateau de Bure Interferometer. The peak line flux density for the CO(5-4) line is 0.72 ± 0.09 mJy, with a line FWHM = 610 ± 110 km s^(-1). The implied molecular gas mass is (1.6 ± 0.3) × 10^(10) M_⊙. We also detect the 90 GHz continuum at 0.12 ± 0.03 mJy, consistent with a 47 K dust spectrum extrapolated from higher frequencies. J0927+2001 is the second example of a huge molecular gas reservoir within the host galaxy of a quasar within 1 Gyr of the big bang. Observations of J0927+2001 are consistent with a massive starburst coeval with a bright quasar phase in the galaxy, suggesting the rapid formation of both a supermassive black hole through accretion, and the stellar host spheroid, at a time close to the end of cosmic reionization.

Additional Information

© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 June 24; accepted 2007 July 17; published 2007 August 14. The Plateau de Bure Interferometer is a facility of IRAM, supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain). C. C., R. W., and J. W. acknowledge support from the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through the Max-Planck-Forschungspreise 2005. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated by Associated Universities, Inc. D. R. acknowledges support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Priority Program 1177.

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