Journal Article

Infrared and millimetre-wavelength evidence for cold accretion within a <i>z</i>= 2.83 Lyman α blob

Daniel J. B. Smith, Matt J. Jarvis, Mark Lacy and Alejo Martínez-Sansigre

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 2, pages 799-805
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13580.x
Infrared and millimetre-wavelength evidence for cold accretion within a z= 2.83 Lyman α blob

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This paper discusses infrared and millimetre-wavelength observations of a Lyman α blob (LAB) discovered by Smith & Jarvis, a candidate for ionization by the cold accretion scenario discussed in Fardal et al. and Dijkstra et al. We have observed the counterpart galaxy at infrared wavelengths in deep observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope using the IRAC 3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0 μm and MIPS 24 μm bands, as well as using the Max-Planck Millimeter Bolometer (MAMBO-2) at a wavelength of 1.2 mm with the IRAM 30 m telescope. These observations probe the ≳95 kpc Lyman α halo for the presence of obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) components or the presence of a violent period of star formation invoked by other models of ionization for these mysterious objects. 24 μm observations suggest that an obscured AGN would be insufficiently luminous to ionize the halo, and that the star formation rate within the halo may be as low as <140 M yr−1 depending on the model spectral energy distribution (SED) used. This is reinforced by our observations at 1.2 mm using MAMBO-2, which yield an upper limit of star formation rate <550 M yr−1 from our non-detection to a 3σ flux limit of 0.86 mJy beam−1. Finding no evidence for either AGN or extensive star formation, we conclude that this halo is ionized by a cold accretion process. We derive model SEDs for the host galaxy, and use the Bruzual & Charlot and Maraston libraries to show that the galaxy is well described by composite stellar populations of total mass 3.42 ± 0.13 × 1011 or 4.35 ± 0.16 × 1011M depending on the model SEDs used.

Keywords: galaxies: haloes; galaxies: high-redshift

Journal Article.  5242 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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