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A dusty star-forming galaxy at z = 6 revealed by strong gravitational lensing

Zavala, Jorge A., Montaña, Alfredo, Hughes, David H., Yun, Min S., Ivison, R. J., Valiante, Elisabetta, Wilner, David, Spilker, Justin, Aretxaga, Itziar, Eales, Stephen ORCID:, Avila-Reese, Vladimir, Chávez, Miguel, Cooray, Asantha, Dannerbauer, Helmut, Dunlop, James S., Dunne, Loretta ORCID:, Gómez-Ruiz, Arturo I., Michałowski, Michał J., Narayanan, Gopal, Nayyeri, Hooshang, Oteo, Ivan, Rosa González, Daniel, Sánchez-Argüelles, David, Schloerb, F. Peter, Serjeant, Stephen, Smith, Matthew W. L. ORCID:, Terlevich, Elena, Vega, Olga, Villalba, Alan, van der Werf, Paul, Wilson, Grant W. and Zeballos, Milagros 2018. A dusty star-forming galaxy at z = 6 revealed by strong gravitational lensing. Nature Astronomy 2 , pp. 56-62. 10.1038/s41550-017-0297-8

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Since their discovery, submillimetre-selected galaxies1,2 have revolutionized the field of galaxy formation and evolution. From the hundreds of square degrees mapped at submillimetre wavelengths3,4,5, only a handful of sources have been confirmed to lie at z > 5 (refs 6,7,8,9,10) and only two at z ≥ 6 (refs 11,12). All of these submillimetre galaxies are rare examples of extreme starburst galaxies with star formation rates of ≳1,000 M⊙ yr−1 and therefore are not representative of the general population of dusty star-forming galaxies. Consequently, our understanding of the nature of these sources, at the earliest epochs, is still incomplete. Here, we report the spectroscopic identification of a gravitationally amplified (μ = 9.3 ± 1.0) dusty star-forming galaxy at z = 6.027. After correcting for gravitational lensing, we derive an intrinsic less-extreme star formation rate of 380 ± 50 M⊙ yr−1 for this source and find that its gas and dust properties are similar to those measured for local ultra luminous infrared galaxies, extending the local trends to a poorly explored territory in the early Universe. The star-formation efficiency of this galaxy is similar to those measured in its local analogues13, despite a ~12 Gyr difference in cosmic time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2397-3366
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 28 September 2017
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2023 16:48

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