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Title: Radio and far-IR emission associated with a massive star-forming galaxy candidate at z ≃ 6.8: a radio-loud AGN in the reionization era?

We report the identification of radio (0.144–3 GHz) and mid-, far-infrared, and sub-mm (24–850μm) emission at the position of one of 41 UV-bright ($\mathrm{M_{\mathrm{UV}}}^{ }\lesssim -21.25$) z ≃ 6.6–6.9 Lyman-break galaxy candidates in the 1.5 deg2 COSMOS field. This source, COS-87259, exhibits a sharp flux discontinuity (factor >3) between two narrow/intermediate bands at 9450 and 9700 Å and is undetected in all nine bands blueward of 9600 Å, as expected from a Lyman alpha break at z ≃ 6.8. The full multiwavelength (X-ray through radio) data of COS-87529 can be self-consistently explained by a very massive (M* = 1010.8 M⊙) and extremely red (rest-UV slope β = −0.59) z ≃ 6.8 galaxy with hyperluminous infrared emission (LIR = 1013.6 L⊙) powered by both an intense burst of highly obscured star formation (SFR ≈ 1800 M⊙ yr−1) and an obscured ($\tau _{_{\mathrm{9.7\mu m}}} = 7.7\pm 2.5$) radio-loud (L1.4 GHz ≈ 1025.4 W Hz−1) active galactic nucleus (AGN). The radio emission is compact (1.04 ± 0.12 arcsec) and exhibits an ultra-steep spectrum between 1.32 and 3 GHz ($\alpha =-1.57^{+0.22}_{-0.21}$) that flattens at lower frequencies ($\alpha = -0.86^{+0.22}_{-0.16}$ between 0.144 and 1.32 GHz), consistent with known z > 4 radio galaxies. We also demonstrate that COS-87259 may reside in a significant (11×) galaxy overdensity, as common for systems hosting radio-loud AGN. While we find that low-redshift solutions to the optical + near-infrared data are not preferred, a spectroscopic redshift will ultimately be required to establish the true nature of COS-87259 beyond any doubt. If confirmed to lie at z ≃ 6.8, the properties of COS-87259 would be consistent with a picture wherein AGN and highly obscured star formation activity are fairly common among very massive (M* > 1010 M⊙) reionization-era galaxies.

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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
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Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 4248-4261
["p. 4248-4261"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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