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Herschel observations of far-infrared cooling lines in intermediate redshift (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies

Rigopoulou, D., Hopwood, R., Magdis, G. E., Thatte, N., Swinyard, Bruce, Farrah, D., Huang, J.-S., Alonso-Herrero, A., Bock, J. J., Clements, D., Cooray, A., Griffin, Matthew Joseph, Oliver, S., Pearson, C., Riechers, D., Scott, D., Smith, A., Vaccari, M., Valtchanov, I. and Wang, L. 2014. Herschel observations of far-infrared cooling lines in intermediate redshift (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies. Astrophysical Journal Letters 781 (1) , L15. 10.1088/2041-8205/781/1/L15

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We report the first results from a spectroscopic survey of the [C II] 158 μm line from a sample of intermediate redshift (0.2 <z < 0.8) (ultra)-luminous infrared galaxies, (U)LIRGs (L IR > 1011.5 L ☉), using the Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver-Fourier Transform Spectrometer on board the Herschel Space Observatory. This is the first survey of [C II] emission, an important tracer of star formation, at a redshift range where the star formation rate density of the universe increases rapidly. We detect strong [C II] 158 μm line emission from over 80% of the sample. We find that the [C II] line is luminous, in the range (0.8-4) × 10–3 of the far-infrared continuum luminosity of our sources, and appears to arise from photodissociation regions on the surface of molecular clouds. The L [C II]/L IR ratio in our intermediate redshift (U)LIRGs is on average ~10 times larger than that of local ULIRGs. Furthermore, we find that the L [C II]/L IR and L [C II]/L CO(1-0) ratios in our sample are similar to those of local normal galaxies and high-z star-forming galaxies. ULIRGs at z ~ 0.5 show many similarities to the properties of local normal and high-z star-forming galaxies. Our findings strongly suggest that rapid evolution in the properties of the star-forming regions of (U)LIRGs is likely to have occurred in the last 5 billion years.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 2041-8213
Funders: STFC
Date of Acceptance: 6 December 2013
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2019 14:36

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