ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies

J. A. Hodge, I. Smail, F. Walter, E. Da Cunha, A. M. Swinbank, M. Rybak, B. Venemans, W. N. Brandt, G. Calistro Rivera, S. C. Chapman, Chian Chou Chen, P. Cox, H. Dannerbauer, R. Decarli, T. R. Greve, K. K. Knudsen, K. M. Menten, E. Schinnerer, J. M. Simpson, P. Van Der WerfJ. L. Wardlow, A. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We present subkiloparsec-scale mapping of the 870 μm ALMA continuum emission in six luminous (L IR ∼ 5 ×1012 L o) submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) from the ALESS survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South. Our high-fidelity 0.″07-resolution imaging (∼500 pc) reveals robust evidence for structures with deconvolved sizes of ≲0.5-1 kpc embedded within (dominant) exponential dust disks. The large-scale morphologies of the structures within some of the galaxies show clear curvature and/or clump-like structures bracketing elongated nuclear emission, suggestive of bars, star-forming rings, and spiral arms. In this interpretation, the ratio of the "ring" and "bar" radii (1.9 ±;0.3) agrees with that measured for such features in local galaxies. These potential spiral/ring/bar structures would be consistent with the idea of tidal disturbances, with their detailed properties implying flat inner rotation curves and Toomre-unstable disks (Q < 1). The inferred one-dimensional velocity dispersions (σ r ≲ 70-160 km s-1) are marginally consistent with the limits implied if the sizes of the largest structures are comparable to the Jeans length. We create maps of the star formation rate density (ΣSFR) on ∼500 pc scales and show that the SMGs are able to sustain a given (galaxy-averaged) ΣSFR over much larger physical scales than local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. However, on 500 pc scales, they do not exceed the Eddington limit set by radiation pressure on dust. If confirmed by kinematics, the potential presence of nonaxisymmetric structures would provide a means for net angular momentum loss and efficient star formation, helping to explain the very high star formation rates measured in SMGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume876
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2019

Fingerprint

galaxies
rings
dust
star formation rate
angular momentum
curvature
kinematics
disturbance
radiation pressure
clumps
rate
star formation
disturbances
continuums
stars
radii
curves
loss
radiation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Hodge, J. A., Smail, I., Walter, F., Cunha, E. D., Swinbank, A. M., Rybak, M., ... Weiss, A. (2019). ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 876(2), [130]. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab1846
Hodge, J. A. ; Smail, I. ; Walter, F. ; Cunha, E. Da ; Swinbank, A. M. ; Rybak, M. ; Venemans, B. ; Brandt, W. N. ; Rivera, G. Calistro ; Chapman, S. C. ; Chen, Chian Chou ; Cox, P. ; Dannerbauer, H. ; Decarli, R. ; Greve, T. R. ; Knudsen, K. K. ; Menten, K. M. ; Schinnerer, E. ; Simpson, J. M. ; Werf, P. Van Der ; Wardlow, J. L. ; Weiss, A. / ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2019 ; Vol. 876, No. 2.
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abstract = "We present subkiloparsec-scale mapping of the 870 μm ALMA continuum emission in six luminous (L IR ∼ 5 ×1012 L o) submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) from the ALESS survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South. Our high-fidelity 0.″07-resolution imaging (∼500 pc) reveals robust evidence for structures with deconvolved sizes of ≲0.5-1 kpc embedded within (dominant) exponential dust disks. The large-scale morphologies of the structures within some of the galaxies show clear curvature and/or clump-like structures bracketing elongated nuclear emission, suggestive of bars, star-forming rings, and spiral arms. In this interpretation, the ratio of the {"}ring{"} and {"}bar{"} radii (1.9 ±;0.3) agrees with that measured for such features in local galaxies. These potential spiral/ring/bar structures would be consistent with the idea of tidal disturbances, with their detailed properties implying flat inner rotation curves and Toomre-unstable disks (Q < 1). The inferred one-dimensional velocity dispersions (σ r ≲ 70-160 km s-1) are marginally consistent with the limits implied if the sizes of the largest structures are comparable to the Jeans length. We create maps of the star formation rate density (ΣSFR) on ∼500 pc scales and show that the SMGs are able to sustain a given (galaxy-averaged) ΣSFR over much larger physical scales than local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. However, on 500 pc scales, they do not exceed the Eddington limit set by radiation pressure on dust. If confirmed by kinematics, the potential presence of nonaxisymmetric structures would provide a means for net angular momentum loss and efficient star formation, helping to explain the very high star formation rates measured in SMGs.",
author = "Hodge, {J. A.} and I. Smail and F. Walter and Cunha, {E. Da} and Swinbank, {A. M.} and M. Rybak and B. Venemans and Brandt, {W. N.} and Rivera, {G. Calistro} and Chapman, {S. C.} and Chen, {Chian Chou} and P. Cox and H. Dannerbauer and R. Decarli and Greve, {T. R.} and Knudsen, {K. K.} and Menten, {K. M.} and E. Schinnerer and Simpson, {J. M.} and Werf, {P. Van Der} and Wardlow, {J. L.} and A. Weiss",
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Hodge, JA, Smail, I, Walter, F, Cunha, ED, Swinbank, AM, Rybak, M, Venemans, B, Brandt, WN, Rivera, GC, Chapman, SC, Chen, CC, Cox, P, Dannerbauer, H, Decarli, R, Greve, TR, Knudsen, KK, Menten, KM, Schinnerer, E, Simpson, JM, Werf, PVD, Wardlow, JL & Weiss, A 2019, 'ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 876, no. 2, 130. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab1846

ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies. / Hodge, J. A.; Smail, I.; Walter, F.; Cunha, E. Da; Swinbank, A. M.; Rybak, M.; Venemans, B.; Brandt, W. N.; Rivera, G. Calistro; Chapman, S. C.; Chen, Chian Chou; Cox, P.; Dannerbauer, H.; Decarli, R.; Greve, T. R.; Knudsen, K. K.; Menten, K. M.; Schinnerer, E.; Simpson, J. M.; Werf, P. Van Der; Wardlow, J. L.; Weiss, A.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 876, No. 2, 130, 10.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - ALMA Reveals Potential Evidence for Spiral Arms, Bars, and Rings in High-redshift Submillimeter Galaxies

AU - Hodge, J. A.

AU - Smail, I.

AU - Walter, F.

AU - Cunha, E. Da

AU - Swinbank, A. M.

AU - Rybak, M.

AU - Venemans, B.

AU - Brandt, W. N.

AU - Rivera, G. Calistro

AU - Chapman, S. C.

AU - Chen, Chian Chou

AU - Cox, P.

AU - Dannerbauer, H.

AU - Decarli, R.

AU - Greve, T. R.

AU - Knudsen, K. K.

AU - Menten, K. M.

AU - Schinnerer, E.

AU - Simpson, J. M.

AU - Werf, P. Van Der

AU - Wardlow, J. L.

AU - Weiss, A.

PY - 2019/5/10

Y1 - 2019/5/10

N2 - We present subkiloparsec-scale mapping of the 870 μm ALMA continuum emission in six luminous (L IR ∼ 5 ×1012 L o) submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) from the ALESS survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South. Our high-fidelity 0.″07-resolution imaging (∼500 pc) reveals robust evidence for structures with deconvolved sizes of ≲0.5-1 kpc embedded within (dominant) exponential dust disks. The large-scale morphologies of the structures within some of the galaxies show clear curvature and/or clump-like structures bracketing elongated nuclear emission, suggestive of bars, star-forming rings, and spiral arms. In this interpretation, the ratio of the "ring" and "bar" radii (1.9 ±;0.3) agrees with that measured for such features in local galaxies. These potential spiral/ring/bar structures would be consistent with the idea of tidal disturbances, with their detailed properties implying flat inner rotation curves and Toomre-unstable disks (Q < 1). The inferred one-dimensional velocity dispersions (σ r ≲ 70-160 km s-1) are marginally consistent with the limits implied if the sizes of the largest structures are comparable to the Jeans length. We create maps of the star formation rate density (ΣSFR) on ∼500 pc scales and show that the SMGs are able to sustain a given (galaxy-averaged) ΣSFR over much larger physical scales than local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. However, on 500 pc scales, they do not exceed the Eddington limit set by radiation pressure on dust. If confirmed by kinematics, the potential presence of nonaxisymmetric structures would provide a means for net angular momentum loss and efficient star formation, helping to explain the very high star formation rates measured in SMGs.

AB - We present subkiloparsec-scale mapping of the 870 μm ALMA continuum emission in six luminous (L IR ∼ 5 ×1012 L o) submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) from the ALESS survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field South. Our high-fidelity 0.″07-resolution imaging (∼500 pc) reveals robust evidence for structures with deconvolved sizes of ≲0.5-1 kpc embedded within (dominant) exponential dust disks. The large-scale morphologies of the structures within some of the galaxies show clear curvature and/or clump-like structures bracketing elongated nuclear emission, suggestive of bars, star-forming rings, and spiral arms. In this interpretation, the ratio of the "ring" and "bar" radii (1.9 ±;0.3) agrees with that measured for such features in local galaxies. These potential spiral/ring/bar structures would be consistent with the idea of tidal disturbances, with their detailed properties implying flat inner rotation curves and Toomre-unstable disks (Q < 1). The inferred one-dimensional velocity dispersions (σ r ≲ 70-160 km s-1) are marginally consistent with the limits implied if the sizes of the largest structures are comparable to the Jeans length. We create maps of the star formation rate density (ΣSFR) on ∼500 pc scales and show that the SMGs are able to sustain a given (galaxy-averaged) ΣSFR over much larger physical scales than local (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. However, on 500 pc scales, they do not exceed the Eddington limit set by radiation pressure on dust. If confirmed by kinematics, the potential presence of nonaxisymmetric structures would provide a means for net angular momentum loss and efficient star formation, helping to explain the very high star formation rates measured in SMGs.

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