Is There a Maximum Star Formation Rate in High-redshift Galaxies?

Type Journal Article
Names A. J. Barger, L. L. Cowie, C.-C. Chen, F. N. Owen, W.-H. Wang, C. M. Casey, N. Lee, D. B. Sanders, J. P. Williams
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 784
Pages 9
Journal Abbreviation The Astrophysical Journal
Date March 1, 2014
DOI 10.1088/0004-637X/784/1/9
ISSN 0004-637X
Library Catalog
Abstract We use the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope's SCUBA-2 camera to image a 400 arcmin2 area surrounding the GOODS-N field. The 850 μm rms noise ranges from a value of 0.49 mJy in the central region to 3.5 mJy at the outside edge. From these data, we construct an 850 μm source catalog to 2 mJy containing 49 sources detected above the 4σ level. We use an ultradeep (11.5 μJy at 5σ) 1.4 GHz image obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array together with observations made with the Submillimeter Array to identify counterparts to the submillimeter galaxies. For most cases of multiple radio counterparts, we can identify the correct counterpart from new and existing Submillimeter Array data. We have spectroscopic redshifts for 62% of the radio sources in the 9' radius highest sensitivity region (556/894) and 67% of the radio sources in the GOODS-N region (367/543). We supplement these with a modest number of additional photometric redshifts in the GOODS-N region (30). We measure millimetric redshifts from the radio to submillimeter flux ratios for the unidentified submillimeter sample, assuming an Arp 220 spectral energy distribution. We find a radio-flux-dependent K - z relation for the radio sources, which we use to estimate redshifts for the remaining radio sources. We determine the star formation rates (SFRs) of the submillimeter sources based on their radio powers and their submillimeter fluxes and find that they agree well. The radio data are deep enough to detect star-forming galaxies with SFRs >2000 M ⊙ yr-1 to z ~ 6. We find galaxies with SFRs up to ~6000 M ⊙ yr-1 over the redshift range z = 1.5-6, but we see evidence for a turn-down in the SFR distribution function above 2000 M ⊙ yr-1. The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope is operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the National Research Council of Canada, and (until 2013 March 31) the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The W. M. Keck Observatory is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and NASA, and was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, cosmology: observations, galaxies: active, galaxies: distances and redshifts, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: starburst
UW-Madison Astronomy Home