SMA Observations of GOODS 850-11 and GOODS 850-13: First Examples of Multiple Submillimeter Sources Resolved by an Interferometer

Type Journal Article
Names Wei-Hao Wang, Lennox L. Cowie, Amy J. Barger, Jonathan P. Williams
Publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 726
Pages L18
Date January 1, 2011
Short Title SMA Observations of GOODS 850-11 and GOODS 850-13
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We carried out extremely sensitive Submillimeter Array (SMA) 340 GHz continuum imaging on two submillimeter galaxies (SMGs): GOODS 850-11 and GOODS 850-13. The observations reach sub-mJy rms sensitivities and, interestingly, resolve both sources into multiple, physically unrelated SMGs. GOODS 850-11 is resolved into two sources at different redshifts. GOODS 850-13 is resolved into three sources, two with different spectroscopic redshifts and one only with a photometric redshift. All the SMA sources have fluxes in the 3-5 mJy range and all are detected at 1.4 GHz. Three of them are detected by Chandra, and one is a previously unknown X-ray SMG. This is the first time that single-dish SMGs are resolved into multiple unrelated sources and also the first time that the SMA has discovered new SMGs. Our results show that identifications of SMGs at any wavelengths other than the submillimeter itself can be misleading, since such identifications usually only pick up one of the real counterparts. Using simulations that mimic our SCUBA and SMA observations, we find that the number of triple systems detected in our SMA survey is much higher than that expected from the current best-determined number counts. We tentatively attribute this to clustering. We also predict that ALMA will find ~1/3 of >5 mJy 850 μm SCUBA sources to be multiple systems. Based on our SMA observations and simulations, we suggest that large samples of existing SMGs should be imaged with sensitive interferometric observations, even if the SMGs were previously thought to be securely identified. The Submillimeter Array is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded by the Smithsonian Institution and the Academia Sinica.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, cosmology: observations, galaxies: formation, galaxies: high-redshift, radio continuum: galaxies, submillimeter: galaxies
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