Obscured star-formation in bright z ~ 7 Lyman-break galaxies [GA]


We present Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array observations of the rest-frame far-infrared (FIR) dust continuum emission of six bright Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at $z \simeq 7$. The average FIR luminosity of the sample is found to be $L_{\rm FIR} \simeq 2 \times 10^{11}\,{\rm L}{\odot}$, corresponding to an obscured star-formation rate (SFR) that is comparable to that inferred from the unobscured UV emission. In comparison to the infrared excess (IRX$\,=L{\rm FIR}/L_{\rm UV}$)-$\beta$ relation, our results are consistent with a Calzetti-like attenuation law (assuming a dust temperature of T = 40-50 K). We find a physical offset of 3 kpc between the dust continuum emission and the rest-frame UV light probed by Hubble Space Telescope imaging for galaxy ID65666 at $z = 7.17^{+0.09}{-0.06}$. The offset is suggestive of an inhomogeneous dust distribution, where 75% of the total star formation activity (SFR$ \,\simeq 70\,{\rm M}{\odot}/{\rm yr}$) of the galaxy is completely obscured. Our results provide direct evidence that dust obscuration plays a key role in shaping the bright-end of the observed rest-frame UV luminosity function at $z \simeq 7$, in agreement with cosmological galaxy formation simulations. The existence of a heavily-obscured component of galaxy ID65666 indicates that dusty star-forming regions, or even entire galaxies, that are “UV-dark” are significant even in the $z \simeq 7$ galaxy population.

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R. Bowler, N. Bourne, J. Dunlop, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 12 pages, 6 figure, 3 tables

The mid-infrared properties and gas content of active galaxies over large look-back times [GA]


Upon an expansion of all of the searches for redshifted HI 21-cm absorption (0.0021 < z 5.19), we update recent results regarding the detection of 21-cm in the non-local Universe. Specifically, we confirm that photo-ionisation of the gas is the mostly likely cause of the low detection rate at high redshift, in addition to finding that at z < 0.1 there may also be a decrease in the detection rate, which we suggest is due to the dilution of the absorption strength by 21-cm emission. By assuming that associated and intervening absorbers have similar cosmological mass densities, we find evidence that the spin temperature of the gas evolves with redshift, consistent with heating by ultra-violet photons. From the near–infrared (3.4, 4.6 and 12 micron) colours, we see that radio galaxies become more quasar-like in their activity with increasing redshift. We also find that the non-detection of 21-cm absorption at high redshift is not likely to be due to the selection of gas-poor ellipticals, in addition to a strong correlation between the ionising photon rate and the [3.4] – [4.6] colour, indicating that the UV photons arise from AGN activity. Like previous studies, we find a correlation between the detection of 21-cm absorption and the [4.6] – [12] colour, which is a tracer of star-forming activity. However, this only applies at the lowest redshifts (z < 0.1), the range considered by the other studies.

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S. Curran and S. Duchesne
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: Accepted by MNRAS

Characterization of methanol as a magnetic field tracer in star-forming regions [GA]


Magnetic fields play an important role during star formation. Direct magnetic field strength observations have proven specifically challenging in the extremely dynamic protostellar phase. Because of their occurrence in the densest parts of star forming regions, masers, through polarization observations, are the main source of magnetic field strength and morphology measurements around protostars. Of all maser species, methanol is one of the strongest and most abundant tracers of gas around high-mass protostellar disks and in outflows. However, as experimental determination of the magnetic characteristics of methanol has remained largely unsuccessful, a robust magnetic field strength analysis of these regions could hitherto not be performed. Here we report a quantitative theoretical model of the magnetic properties of methanol, including the complicated hyperfine structure that results from its internal rotation. We show that the large range in values of the Land\'{e} g-factors of the hyperfine components of each maser line lead to conclusions which differ substantially from the current interpretation based on a single effective g-factor. These conclusions are more consistent with other observations and confirm the presence of dynamically important magnetic fields around protostars. Additionally, our calculations show that (non-linear) Zeeman effects must be taken into account to further enhance the accuracy of cosmological electron-to-proton mass ratio determinations using methanol.

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B. Lankhaar, W. Vlemmings, G. Surcis, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 23 pages, 3 figures, excluding Supplementary information. Author manuscript version before editorial/copyediting by Nature Astronomy. Journal version available via this http URL . Supplementary material available via this https URL

Duty-cycle and energetics of remnant radio-loud AGN [GA]


Deriving the energetics of remnant and restarted active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is much more challenging than for active sources due to the complexity in accurately determining the time since the nucleus switched-off. I resolve this problem using a new approach that combines spectral ageing and dynamical models to tightly constrain the energetics and duty-cycles of dying sources. Fitting the shape of the integrated radio spectrum yields the fraction of the source age the nucleus is active; this, in addition to the flux density, source size, axis ratio, and properties of the host environment, provides a constraint on dynamical models describing the remnant radio source. This technique is used to derive the intrinsic properties of the well-studied remnant radio source B2 0924+30. This object is found to spend $50^{+14}{-12}$ Myr in the active phase and a further $28^{+6}{-5}$ Myr in the quiescent phase, have a jet kinetic power of $3.6^{+3.0}_{-1.7}\times 10^{37}$ W, and a lobe magnetic field strength below equipartition at the $8\sigma$ level. The integrated spectra of restarted and intermittent radio sources is found to yield a ‘steep-shallow’ shape when the previous outburst occurred within 100 Myr. The duty-cycle of B2 0924+30 is hence constrained to be $\delta < 0.15$ by fitting the shortest time to the previous comparable outburst that does not appreciably modify the remnant spectrum. The time-averaged feedback energy imparted by AGNs into their host galaxy environments can in this manner be quantified.

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R. Turner
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures, 1 table; accepted in MNRAS

Early-type galaxy spin evolution in the Horizon-AGN simulation [GA]


Using the Horizon-AGN simulation data, we study the relative role of mergers and environmental effects in shaping the spin of early-type galaxies (ETGs) after $z \simeq 1$. We follow the spin evolution of 10,037 color-selected ETGs more massive than 10$^{10} \rm \, M_{\odot}$ that are divided into four groups: cluster centrals (3%), cluster satellites (33%), group centrals (5%), and field ETGs (59%). We find a strong mass dependence of the slow rotator fraction, $f_{\rm SR}$, and the mean spin of massive ETGs. Although we do not find a clear environmental dependence of $f_{\rm SR}$, a weak trend is seen in the mean value of spin parameter driven by the satellite ETGs as they gradually lose their spin as their environment becomes denser. Galaxy mergers appear to be the main cause of total spin changes in 94% of central ETGs of halos with $M_{vir} > 10^{12.5}\rm M_{\odot}$, but only 22% of satellite and field ETGs. We find that non-merger induced tidal perturbations better correlate with the galaxy spin-down in satellite ETGs than mergers. Given that the majority of ETGs are not central in dense environments, we conclude that non-merger tidal perturbation effects played a key role in the spin evolution of ETGs observed in the local ($z < 1$) universe.

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H. Choi, S. Yi, Y. Dubois, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ

Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-Luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs) III. Star formation properties of the host galaxies at $z \gtrsim 6$ studied with ALMA [GA]


We present our ALMA Cycle 4 measurements of the [CII] emission line and the underlying far-infrared (FIR) continuum emission from four optically low-luminosity ($M_{\rm 1450} > -25$) quasars at $z \gtrsim 6$ discovered by the Subaru Hyper Suprime Cam (HSC) survey. The [CII] line and FIR continuum luminosities lie in the ranges $L_{\rm [CII]} = (3.8-10.2) \times 10^8~L_\odot$ and $L_{\rm FIR} = (1.2-2.0) \times 10^{11}~L_\odot$, which are at least one order of magnitude smaller than those of optically-luminous quasars at $z \gtrsim 6$. We estimate the star formation rates (SFR) of our targets as $\simeq 23-40~M_\odot ~{\rm yr}^{-1}$. Their line and continuum-emitting regions are marginally resolved, and found to be comparable in size to those of optically luminous quasars, indicating that their SFR or likely gas mass surface densities (key controlling parameter of mass accretion) are accordingly different. The $L_{\rm [CII]}/L_{\rm FIR}$ ratios of the hosts, $\simeq (2.2-8.7) \times 10^{-3}$, are fully consistent with local star-forming galaxies. Using the [CII] dynamics, we derived their dynamical masses within a radius of 1.5-2.5 kpc as $\simeq (1.4-8.2) \times 10^{10}~M_\odot$. By interpreting these masses as stellar ones, we suggest that these faint quasar hosts are on or even below the star-forming main sequence at $z \sim 6$, i.e., they appear to be transforming into quiescent galaxies. This is in contrast to the optically luminous quasars at those redshifts, which show starburst-like properties. Finally, we find that the ratios of black hole mass to host galaxy dynamical mass of the most of low-luminosity quasars including the HSC ones are consistent with the local value. The mass ratios of the HSC quasars can be reproduced by a semi-analytical model that assumes merger-induced black hole-host galaxy evolution.

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T. Izumi, M. Onoue, H. Shirakata, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 20 pages, 9 figures, 4 tables. Accepted for publication in PASJ

A model for AGN variability on multiple timescales [GA]


We present a framework to link and describe AGN variability on a wide range of timescales, from days to billions of years. In particular, we concentrate on the AGN variability features related to changes in black hole fuelling and accretion rate. In our framework, the variability features observed in different AGN at different timescales may be explained as realisations of the same underlying statistical properties. In this context, we propose a model to simulate the evolution of AGN light curves with time based on the probability density function (PDF) and power spectral density (PSD) of the Eddington ratio ($L/L_{\rm Edd}$) distribution. Motivated by general galaxy population properties, we propose that the PDF may be inspired by the $L/L_{\rm Edd}$ distribution function (ERDF), and that a single (or limited number of) ERDF+PSD set may explain all observed variability features. After outlining the framework and the model, we compile a set of variability measurements in terms of structure function (SF) and magnitude difference. We then combine the variability measurements on a SF plot ranging from days to Gyr. The proposed framework enables constraints on the underlying PSD and the ability to link AGN variability on different timescales, therefore providing new insights into AGN variability and black hole growth phenomena.

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L. Sartori, K. Schawinski, B. Trakhtenbrot, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures, letter accepted for publication in MNRAS