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  1. null (Ed.)
  2. ABSTRACT We present APEX-LABOCA 870-μm observations of the fields surrounding the nine brightest high-redshift unlensed objects discovered in the South Pole Telescope’s (SPT) 2500 deg2 survey. Initially seen as point sources by SPT’s 1-arcmin beam, the 19-arcsec resolution of our new data enables us to deblend these objects and search for submillimetre (submm) sources in the surrounding fields. We find a total of 98 sources above a threshold of 3.7σ in the observed area of 1300 arcmin2, where the bright central cores resolve into multiple components. After applying a radial cut to our LABOCA sources to achieve uniform sensitivity and angular sizemore »across each of the nine fields, we compute the cumulative and differential number counts and compare them to estimates of the background, finding a significant overdensity of $\delta \, {\approx }\,$10 at $S_{870}= 14$ mJy. The large overdensities of bright submm sources surrounding these fields suggest that they could be candidate protoclusters undergoing massive star formation events. Photometric and spectroscopic redshifts of the unlensed central objects range from $z= $3 to 7, implying a volume density of star-forming protoclusters of approximately 0.1 Gpc−3. If the surrounding submm sources in these fields are at the same redshifts as the central objects, then the total star formation rates of these candidate protoclusters reach 10 000 M⊙ yr−1, making them much more active at these redshifts than seen so far in either simulations or observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 20, 2022
  3. ABSTRACT We present Gemini-S and Spitzer-IRAC optical-through-near-IR observations in the field of the SPT2349-56 proto-cluster at z = 4.3. We detect optical/IR counterparts for only 9 of the 14 submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) previously identified by ALMA in the core of SPT2349-56. In addition, we detect four z ∼ 4 Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) in the 30 arcsec-diameter region surrounding this proto-cluster core. Three of the four LBGs are new systems, while one appears to be a counterpart of one of the nine observed SMGs. We identify a candidate brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) with a stellar mass of $(3.2^{+2.3}_{-1.4})\times 10^{11}$ M⊙. The stellar massesmore »of the eight other SMGs place them on, above, and below the main sequence of star formation at z ≈ 4.5. The cumulative stellar mass for the SPT2349-56 core is at least (12.2 ± 2.8) × 1011 M⊙, a sizeable fraction of the stellar mass in local BCGs, and close to the universal baryon fraction (0.19) relative to the virial mass of the core (1013 M⊙). As all 14 of these SMGs are destined to quickly merge, we conclude that the proto-cluster core has already developed a significant stellar mass at this early stage, comparable to z = 1 BCGs. Importantly, we also find that the SPT2349-56 core structure would be difficult to uncover in optical surveys, with none of the ALMA sources being easily identifiable or constrained through g, r, and i colour selection in deep optical surveys and only a modest overdensity of LBGs over the more extended structure. SPT2349-56 therefore represents a truly dust-obscured phase of a massive cluster core under formation.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present Atacama Compact Array and Atacama Pathfinder Experiment observations of the [N ii] 205 μm fine-structure line in 40 sub-millimetre galaxies lying at redshifts z = 3–6, drawn from the 2500 deg2 South Pole Telescope survey. This represents the largest uniformly selected sample of high-redshift [N ii] 205 μm measurements to date. 29 sources also have [C ii] 158 μm line observations allowing a characterization of the distribution of the [C ii] to [N ii] luminosity ratio for the first time at high redshift. The sample exhibits a median L$_{{\rm{[C\,{\small II}]}}}$/L$_{{\rm{[N\,{\small II}]}}}$ ≈ 11.0 and interquartile range of 5.0 –24.7. These ratios are similar to thosemore »observed in local (Ultra)luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs), possibly indicating similarities in their interstellar medium. At the extremes, we find individual sub-millimetre galaxies with L$_{{\rm{[C\,{\small II}]}}}$/L$_{{\rm{[N\,{\small II}]}}}$ low enough to suggest a smaller contribution from neutral gas than ionized gas to the [C ii] flux and high enough to suggest strongly photon or X-ray region dominated flux. These results highlight a large range in this line luminosity ratio for sub-millimetre galaxies, which may be caused by variations in gas density, the relative abundances of carbon and nitrogen, ionization parameter, metallicity, and a variation in the fractional abundance of ionized and neutral interstellar medium.« less
  5. We present images obtained with LABOCA on the APEX telescope of a sample of 22 galaxies selected via their red Herschel SPIRE 250-, 350- and $500\textrm{-}\mu\textrm{m}$ colors. We aim to see if these luminous, rare and distant galaxies are signposting dense regions in the early Universe. Our $870\textrm{-}\mu\textrm{m}$ survey covers an area of $\approx0.8\,\textrm{deg}^2$ down to an average r.m.s. of $3.9\,\textrm{mJy beam}^{-1}$, with our five deepest maps going $\approx2\times$ deeper still. We catalog 86 DSFGs around our 'signposts', detected above a significance of $3.5\sigma$. This implies a $100\pm30\%$ over-density of $S_{870}>8.5\,\textrm{mJy}$ DSFGs, excluding our signposts, when comparing our number countsmore »to those in 'blank fields'. Thus, we are $99.93\%$ confident that our signposts are pinpointing over-dense regions in the Universe, and $\approx95\%$ confident that these regions are over-dense by a factor of at least $\ge1.5\times$. Using template SEDs and SPIRE/LABOCA photometry we derive a median photometric redshift of $z=3.2\pm0.2$ for our signposts, with an interquartile range of $z=2.8\textrm{-}3.6$. We constrain the DSFGs likely responsible for this over-density to within $|\Delta z|\le0.65$ of their respective signposts. These 'associated' DSFGs are radially distributed within $1.6\pm0.5\,\textrm{Mpc}$ of their signposts, have median SFRs of $\approx(1.0\pm0.2)\times10^3\,M_{\odot}\,\textrm{yr}^{-1}$ (for a Salpeter stellar IMF) and median gas reservoirs of $\sim1.7\times10^{11}\,M_{\odot}$. These candidate proto-clusters have average total SFRs of at least $\approx (2.3\pm0.5)\times10^3\,M_{\odot}\,\textrm{yr}^{-1}$ and space densities of $\sim9\times10^{-7}\,\textrm{Mpc}^{-3}$, consistent with the idea that their constituents may evolve to become massive ETGs in the centers of the rich galaxy clusters we see today.« less