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Title: Kiloparsec-scale Imaging of the CO(1-0)-traced Cold Molecular Gas Reservoir in a z ∼ 3.4 Submillimeter Galaxy
Abstract We present a high-resolution study of the cold molecular gas as traced by CO(1-0) in the unlensed z ∼ 3.4 submillimeter galaxy SMM J13120+4242, using multiconfiguration observations with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA). The gas reservoir, imaged on 0.″39 (∼3 kpc) scales, is resolved into two components separated by ∼11 kpc with a total extent of 16 ± 3 kpc. Despite the large spatial extent of the reservoir, the observations show a CO(1-0) FWHM linewidth of only 267 ± 64 km s −1 . We derive a revised line luminosity of L CO ( 1 − 0 ) ′ = (10 ± 3) × 10 10 K km s −1 pc 2 and a molecular gas mass of M gas = (13 ± 3)× 10 10 ( α CO /1) M ⊙ . Despite the presence of a velocity gradient (consistent with previous resolved CO(6-5) imaging), the CO(1-0) imaging shows evidence for significant turbulent motions that are preventing the gas from fully settling into a disk. The system likely represents a merger in an advanced stage. Although the dynamical mass is highly uncertain, we use it to place an upper limit on the CO-to-H 2 mass more » conversion factor α CO of 1.4. We revisit the SED fitting, finding that this galaxy lies on the very massive end of the main sequence at z = 3.4. Based on the low gas fraction, short gas depletion time, and evidence for a central AGN, we propose that SMM J13120 is in a rapid transitional phase between a merger-driven starburst and an unobscured quasar. The case of SMM J13120 highlights how mergers may drive important physical changes in galaxies without pushing them off the main sequence. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1910107
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10330922
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
930
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
35
ISSN:
0004-637X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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