Large-scale structure traced by molecular gas at high redshift

Elizabeth R. Stanway, Malcolm N. Bremer, Luke J.M. Davies, Mark Birkinshaw, Laura S. Douglas, Matthew D. Lehnert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present observations of redshifted CO(1-0) and CO(2-1) in a field containing an overdensity of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) at z p 5.12. Our Australia Telescope Compact Array observations were centered between two spectroscopically confirmed z p 5.12 galaxies. We place upper limits on the molecular gas masses in these two galaxies of M(H2) < 1.7 × 1010 and <2.9 × 109 M⊙ (2 σ), comparable to their stellar masses. We detect an optically faint line emitter situated between the two LBGs which we identify as warm molecular gas at z = 5.1245 ± 0.0001. This source, detected in the CO(2-1) transition but undetected in CO(1-0), has an integrated line flux of 0.106 ± 0.012 Jy km s-1, yielding an inferred gas mass M(H2) = (1.9 ± 0.2) × 1010 M⊙. Molecular line emitters without detectable counterparts at optical and infrared wavelengths may be crucial tracers of structure and mass at high redshift.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume687
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Evolution-galaxies
  • Galaxies
  • High-redshift

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