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1st of November 2016
ATCA detections of massive molecular gas reservoirs in dusty, high-z radio galaxies
by Ian Heywood (CASS)
Today's ATNF Daily Astronomy Picture (ADAP) shows ATCA 7 mm spectra of two optically-faint, narrow-line radio galaxies with redshifts > 2 (left panels), corresponding to a lookback time of about ten billion years. Strong detections of 12CO are found in both systems, with line profiles that are probably indicative of on-going mergers. The mass of molecular hydrogen inferred from these spectra is 100 billion solar masses in each system. Modelling the far-infrared data from Herschel-ATLAS implies a billion solar masses of dust, and a correspondingly large amount of on-going obscured star formation, approximately 1000 solar masses per year. The right hand panels show composite H-ATLAS images using the 500, 350 and 250 micron data. Despite the targets being `typical' high-z radio sources in terms of their 1.4 GHz radio luminosities, they have gas and dust properties similar to those of the most extreme sub-mm galaxies and quasars at high redshift. The question is, how typical is this?

Credit: Heywood et al., MNRAS 2016, in press.

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