Astrophys. J., 622, 772-796 (2005/April-1)
A redshift survey of the submillimeter galaxy population.
CHAPMAN S.C., BLAIN A.W., SMAIL I. and IVISON R.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have obtained spectroscopic redshifts using the Keck I telescope for a sample of 73 submillimeter galaxies (SMGs), with a median 850 µm flux density of 5.7 mJy, for which precise positions are available through their faint radio emission. The galaxies lie at redshifts out to z=3.6, with a median redshift of 2.2 and an interquartile range z=1.7-2.8. Modeling a purely submillimeter flux-limited sample, based on the expected selection function for our radio-identified sample, suggests a median redshift of 2.3, with a redshift distribution remarkably similar to the optically and radio-selected quasars. The observed redshift distributions are similar for the active galactic nucleus (AGN) and starburst subsamples. The median RABis 24.6 for the sample. However, the dust-corrected ultraviolet (UV) luminosities of the galaxies rarely hint at the huge bolometric luminosities indicated by their radio/submillimeter emission, with the effect that the true luminosity can be underestimated by a median factor of ∼120 for SMGs with pure starburst spectra. Radio and submillimeter observations are thus essential to select the most luminous high-redshift galaxies. The 850 µm, radio, and redshift data are used to estimate the dust temperatures and characterize photometric redshifts. Using 450 µm measurements for a subset of our sample, we confirm that a median dust temperature of Td=36±7 K, derived on the assumption that the local far-infrared (FIR)-radio correlation applies at high redshift, is reasonable. Individual 450 µm detections are consistent with the local radio-FIR relation holding at z∼2. This median Tdis lower than that estimated for similarly luminous IRAS 60 µm galaxies locally. We demonstrate that dust temperature variations make it impossible to estimate redshifts for individual SGMs to better than Δz≃1 using simple long-wavelength photometric methods. We calculate total infrared and bolometric luminosities (the median infrared luminosity estimated from the radio is 8.5+7.4–4.6x1012 L☉), construct a luminosity function, and quantify the strong evolution of the submillimeter population across z=0.5-3.5 relative to local IRAS galaxies. We use the bolometric luminosities and UV-spectral classifications to determine a lower limit to the AGN content of the population and measure directly the varying the contribution of highly obscured, luminous galaxies to the luminosity density history of the universe for the first time. We conclude that bright submillimeter galaxies contribute a comparable star formation density to Lyman break galaxies at z=2-3, and including galaxies below our submillimeter flux limit, this population may be the dominant site of massive star formation at this epoch. The rapid evolution of SMGs and QSO populations contrasts with that seen in bolometrically lower luminosity galaxy samples selected in the rest-frame UV and suggests a close link between SMGs and the formation and evolution of the galactic halos that host QSOs.
Cosmology: Observations - Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Formation - Galaxies: Starburst
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/622/772): table2.dat>
Table 2, text: [CBS2005] SMM JHHMMSS.ss+DDMMSS.s N=76+12.
In table 2, SMM J141800.40+512820.3 is a misprint for SMM J141800.40+522820.3.
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