Evidence for a clumpy, rotating gas disk in a submillimeter galaxy at z = 4.
HODGE J.A., CARILLI C.L., WALTER F., DE BLOK W.J.G., RIECHERS D., DADDI E. and LENTATI L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array observations of the CO(2-1) emission in the z = 4.05 submillimeter galaxy (SMG) GN20. These high-resolution data allow us to image the molecular gas at 1.3 kpc resolution just 1.6 Gyr after the big bang. The data reveal a clumpy, extended gas reservoir, 14 ±4 kpc in diameter, in unprecedented detail. A dynamical analysis shows that the data are consistent with a rotating disk of total dynamical mass 5.4±2.4x1011 M☉. We use this dynamical mass estimate to constrain the CO-to-H2 mass conversion factor (αCO), finding αCO = 1.1±0.6 M☉(K.km/s.pc2)–1. We identify five distinct molecular gas clumps in the disk of GN20 with masses a few percent of the total gas mass, brightness temperatures of 16-31K, and surface densities of >3200-4500x(αCO/0.8) M☉/pc2. Virial mass estimates indicate they could be self-gravitating, and we constrain their CO-to-H2 mass conversion factor to be <0.2-0.7 M☉(K.km/s.pc2)–1. A multiwavelength comparison demonstrates that the molecular gas is concentrated in a region of the galaxy that is heavily obscured in the rest-frame UV/optical. We investigate the spatially resolved gas excitation and find that the CO(6-5)/CO(2-1) ratio is constant with radius, consistent with star formation occurring over a large portion of the disk. We discuss the implications of our results in the context of different fueling scenarios for SMGs.
galaxies: evolution - galaxies: formation - galaxies: high-redshift - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: star formation