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Title: Hidden in plain sight: a massive, dusty starburst in a galaxy protocluster at z=5.7 in the COSMOS field
We report the serendipitous discovery of a dusty, starbursting galaxy at z=5.667 (called CRLE hereafter), in close physical association to the "normal" Main Sequence galaxy HZ10 at z=5.654. CRLE was identified by detection of [CII], [NII] and CO(2-1) line emission, making it the highest redshift, most luminous starburst in the COSMOS field. This massive, dusty galaxy appears to be forming stars at a rate of at least 1500$\,M_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ in a compact region only ~3 kpc in diameter. The dynamical and dust emission properties of CRLE suggest an ongoing merger driving the starburst, in a potentially intermediate stage relative to other known dusty galaxies at the same epoch. The ratio of [CII] to [NII] may suggest that an important contribution to the [CII] emission comes from a diffuse ionized gas component, which could be more extended than the dense, starbursting gas. CRLE appears to be located in a significant galaxy overdensity at the same redshift, potentially associated with a large scale cosmic structure recently identified in a Lyman Alpha Emitter survey. This overdensity suggests that CRLE and HZ10 reside in a protocluster environment, offering the tantalizing opportunity to study the effect of a massive starburst on protocluster star formation. Our more » findings support the interpretation that a significant fraction of the earliest galaxy formation may occur from the inside-out, within the central regions of the most massive halos, while rapidly evolving into the massive galaxy clusters observed in the local Universe. « less
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The Astrophysical journal
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National Science Foundation
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