A Redline Starburst: CO(2-1) Observations of an Eddington-limited Galaxy Reveal Star Formation at Its Most Extreme

Type Journal Article
Names J. E. Geach, R. C. Hickox, A. M. Diamond-Stanic, M. Krips, J. Moustakas, C. A. Tremonti, A. L. Coil, P. H. Sell, G. H. Rudnick
Publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 767
Pages L17
Journal Abbreviation The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Date April 1, 2013
DOI 10.1088/2041-8205/767/1/L17;
ISSN 0004-637X
Short Title A Redline Starburst
URL http://adsabs.org/2013ApJ.767L.17G
Library Catalog labs.adsabs.harvard.edu
Abstract We report observations of the CO(2-1) emission of SDSS J1506+54, a compact (r e ≈ 135 pc) starburst galaxy at z = 0.6. SDSS J1506+54 appears to be forming stars close to the limit allowed by stellar radiation pressure feedback models: the measured L_IR/L^{\prime }_CO\approx 1500 is one of the highest measured for any galaxy. With its compact optical morphology but extended low surface brightness envelope, post-starburst spectral features, high infrared luminosity (L IR > 1012.5 L ⊙), low gas fraction (M_H_2/M_\star \approx 15%), and short gas depletion time (tens of Myr), we speculate that this is a feedback-limited central starburst episode at the conclusion of a major merger. Taken as such, SDSS J1504+54 epitomizes the brief closing stage of a classic model of galaxy growth: we are witnessing a key component of spheroid formation during what we term a "redline" starburst.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, galaxies: formation, galaxies: starburst
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