skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Decarli, Roberto"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Distortions of the observed cosmic microwave background provide a direct measurement of the microwave background temperature at redshifts from 0 to 1 (refs.  1,2 ). Some additional background temperature estimates exist at redshifts from 1.8 to 3.3 based on molecular and atomic line-excitation temperatures in quasar absorption-line systems, but are model dependent 3 . No deviations from the expected (1 +  z ) scaling behaviour of the microwave background temperature have been seen 4 , but the measurements have not extended deeply into the matter-dominated era of the Universe at redshifts z  > 3.3. Here we report observations of submillimetre line absorption from the water molecule against the cosmic microwave background at z  = 6.34 in a massive starburst galaxy, corresponding to a lookback time of 12.8 billion years (ref.  5 ). Radiative pumping of the upper level of the ground-state ortho-H 2 O(1 10 –1 01 ) line due to starburst activity in the dusty galaxy HFLS3 results in a cooling to below the redshifted microwave background temperature, after the transition is initially excited by the microwave background. This implies a microwave background temperature of 16.4–30.2 K (1 σ range) at z  = 6.34, which is consistent with a background temperature increase withmore »redshift as expected from the standard ΛCDM cosmology 4 .« less
  2. Abstract We report new Northern Extended Millimeter Array observations of the [C ii ] 158 μ m , [N ii ] 205 μ m , and [O i ] 146 μ m atomic fine structure lines (FSLs) and dust continuum emission of J1148+5251, a z = 6.42 quasar, which probe the physical properties of its interstellar medium (ISM). The radially averaged [C ii ] 158 μ m and dust continuum emission have similar extensions (up to θ = 2.51 − 0.25 + 0.46 arcsec , corresponding to r = 9.8 − 2.1 + 3.3 kpc , accounting for beam convolution), confirming that J1148+5251 is the quasar with the largest [C ii ] 158 μ m -emitting reservoir known at these epochs. Moreover, if the [C ii ] 158 μ m emission is examined only along its NE–SW axis, a significant excess (>5.8 σ ) of [C ii ] 158 μ m emission (with respect to the dust) is detected. The new wide-bandwidth observations enable us to accurately constrain the continuum emission, and do not statistically require the presence of broad [C ii ] 158 μ m line wings that were reported in previous studies. We also report the first detectionmore »of the [O i ] 146 μ m and (tentatively) [N ii ] 205 μ m emission lines in J1148+5251. Using FSL ratios of the [C ii ] 158 μ m , [N ii ] 205 μ m , [O i ] 146 μ m , and previously measured [C i ] 369 μ m emission lines, we show that J1148+5251 has similar ISM conditions compared to lower-redshift (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. CLOUDY modeling of the FSL ratios excludes X-ray-dominated regions and favors photodissociation regions as the origin of the FSL emission. We find that a high radiation field (10 3.5–4.5 G 0 ), a high gas density ( n ≃ 10 3.5–4.5 cm −3 ), and an H i column density of 10 23 cm −2 reproduce the observed FSL ratios well.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We present 0.″035 resolution (∼200 pc) imaging of the 158 μ m [C ii ] line and the underlying dust continuum of the z = 6.9 quasar J234833.34–305410.0. The 18 hour Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations reveal extremely compact emission (diameter ∼1 kpc) that is consistent with a simple, almost face-on, rotation–supported disk with a significant velocity dispersion of ∼160 km s −1 . The gas mass in just the central 200 pc is ∼4 × 10 9 M ⊙ , about a factor of two higher than that of the central supermassive black hole. Consequently we do not resolve the black hole’s sphere of influence, and find no kinematic signature of the central supermassive black hole. Kinematic modeling of the [C ii ] line shows that the dynamical mass at large radii is consistent with the gas mass, leaving little room for a significant mass contribution by stars and/or dark matter. The Toomre–Q parameter is less than unity throughout the disk, and thus is conducive to star formation, consistent with the high-infrared luminosity of the system. The dust in the central region is optically thick, at a temperature >132 K. Using standard scaling relations of dust heating bymore »star formation, this implies an unprecedented high star formation rate density of >10 4 M ⊙ yr −1 kpc −2 . Such a high number can still be explained with the Eddington limit for star formation under certain assumptions, but could also imply that the central supermassive black hole contributes to the heating of the dust in the central 200 pc.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. We investigate the molecular gas content of z  ∼ 6 quasar host galaxies using the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique Northern Extended Millimeter Array. We targeted the 3 mm dust continuum, and the line emission from CO(6–5), CO(7–6), and [C  I ] 2−1 in ten infrared–luminous quasars that have been previously studied in their 1 mm dust continuum and [C  II ] line emission. We detected CO(7–6) at various degrees of significance in all the targeted sources, thus doubling the number of such detections in z  ∼ 6 quasars. The 3 mm to 1 mm flux density ratios are consistent with a modified black body spectrum with a dust temperature T dust  ∼ 47 K and an optical depth τ ν  = 0.2 at the [C  II ] frequency. Our study provides us with four independent ways to estimate the molecular gas mass, M H2 , in the targeted quasars. This allows us to set constraints on various parameters used in the derivation of molecular gas mass estimates, such as the mass per luminosity ratios α CO and α [CII] , the gas-to-dust mass ratio δ g/d , and the carbon abundance [C]/H 2 . Leveraging either on the dust, CO, [C  I ], ormore »[C  II ] emission yields mass estimates of the entire sample in the range M H2  ∼ 10 10 –10 11 M ⊙ . We compared the observed luminosities of dust, [C  II ], [C  I ], and CO(7–6) with predictions from photo-dissociation and X-ray dominated regions. We find that the former provide better model fits to our data, assuming that the bulk of the emission arises from dense ( n H  > 10 4 cm −3 ) clouds with a column density N H  ∼ 10 23 cm −2 , exposed to a radiation field with an intensity of G 0  ∼ 10 3 (in Habing units). Our analysis reiterates the presence of massive reservoirs of molecular gas fueling star formation and nuclear accretion in z  ∼ 6 quasar host galaxies. It also highlights the power of combined 3 mm and 1 mm observations for quantitative studies of the dense gas content in massive galaxies at cosmic dawn.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We report X-ray observations of the most distant known gravitationally lensed quasar, J0439+1634 at z = 6.52, which is also a broad absorption line (BAL) quasar, using the XMM-Newton Observatory. With a 130 ks exposure, the quasar is significantly detected as a point source at the optical position with a total of 358 − 19 + 19 net counts using the EPIC instrument. By fitting a power law plus Galactic absorption model to the observed spectra, we obtain a spectral slope of Γ = 1.45 − 0.09 + 0.10 . The derived optical-to-X-ray spectral slope α ox is − 2.07 − 0.01 + 0.01 , suggesting that the X-ray emission of J0439+1634 is weaker by a factor of 18 than the expectation based on its 2500 Å luminosity and the average α ox versus luminosity relationship. This is the first time that an X-ray weak BAL quasar at z > 6 has been observed spectroscopically. Its X-ray weakness is consistent with the properties of BAL quasars at lower redshift. By fitting a model including an intrinsic absorption component, we obtain intrinsic column densities of N H = 2.8 − 0.6 + 0.7 × 10 23 cm − 2 andmore »N H = 4.3 − 1.5 + 1.8 × 10 23 cm − 2 , assuming a fixed Γ of 1.9 and a free Γ, respectively. The intrinsic rest-frame 2–10 keV luminosity is derived as (9.4–15.1) × 10 43 erg s −1 , after correcting for lensing magnification ( μ = 51.3). The absorbed power-law model fitting indicates that J0439+1634 is the highest redshift obscured quasar with a direct measurement of the absorbing column density. The intrinsic high column density absorption can reduce the X-ray luminosity by a factor of 3–7, which also indicates that this quasar could be a candidate intrinsically X-ray weak quasar.« less
  6. Abstract Radio free–free emission is considered to be one of the most reliable tracers of star formation in galaxies. However, as it constitutes the faintest part of the radio spectrum—being roughly an order of magnitude less luminous than radio synchrotron emission at the GHz frequencies typically targeted in radio surveys—the usage of free–free emission as a star formation rate tracer has mostly remained limited to the local universe. Here, we perform a multifrequency radio stacking analysis using deep Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array observations at 1.4, 3, 5, 10, and 34 GHz in the COSMOS and GOODS-North fields to probe free–free emission in typical galaxies at the peak of cosmic star formation. We find that z ∼ 0.5–3 star-forming galaxies exhibit radio emission at rest-frame frequencies of ∼65–90 GHz that is ∼1.5–2 times fainter than would be expected from a simple combination of free–free and synchrotron emission, as in the prototypical starburst galaxy M82. We interpret this as a deficit in high-frequency synchrotron emission, while the level of free–free emission is as expected from M82. We additionally provide the first constraints on the cosmic star formation history using free–free emission at 0.5 ≲ z ≲ 3, which are inmore »good agreement with more established tracers at high redshift. In the future, deep multifrequency radio surveys will be crucial in order to accurately determine the shape of the radio spectrum of faint star-forming galaxies, and to further establish radio free–free emission as a tracer of high-redshift star formation.« less
  7. Abstract We report the results of near-infrared spectroscopic observations of 37 quasars in the redshift range 6.3 < z ≤ 7.64, including 32 quasars at z > 6.5, forming the largest quasar near-infrared spectral sample at this redshift. The spectra, taken with Keck, Gemini, VLT, and Magellan, allow investigations of central black hole mass and quasar rest-frame ultraviolet spectral properties. The black hole masses derived from the Mg ii emission lines are in the range (0.3–3.6) × 10 9 M ⊙ , which requires massive seed black holes with masses ≳10 3 –10 4 M ⊙ , assuming Eddington accretion since z = 30. The Eddington ratio distribution peaks at λ Edd ∼ 0.8 and has a mean of 1.08, suggesting high accretion rates for these quasars. The C iv –Mg ii emission-line velocity differences in our sample show an increase of C iv blueshift toward higher redshift, but the evolutionary trend observed from this sample is weaker than the previous results from smaller samples at similar redshift. The Fe ii /Mg ii flux ratios derived for these quasars up to z = 7.6, compared with previous measurements at different redshifts, do not show any evidence of strong redshift evolution,more »suggesting metal-enriched environments in these quasars. Using this quasar sample, we create a quasar composite spectrum for z > 6.5 quasars and find no significant redshift evolution of quasar broad emission lines and continuum slope, except for a blueshift of the C iv line. Our sample yields a strong broad absorption line quasar fraction of ∼24%, higher than the fractions in lower-redshift quasar samples, although this could be affected by small sample statistics and selection effects.« less