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Strong Far-ultraviolet Fields Drive the [C II]/Far-infrared Deficit in z ∼ 3 Dusty, Star-forming Galaxies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • Matus Rybak
  • G. Calistro Rivera
  • J. A. Hodge
  • Ian Smail
  • F. Walter
  • P. van der Werf
  • E. da Cunha
  • Chian-Chou Chen
  • H. Dannerbauer
  • R. J. Ivison
  • A. Karim
  • J. M. Simpson
  • A. M. Swinbank
  • J. L. Wardlow
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/05/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>The Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Volume876
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)112
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present 0.″15 (1 kpc) resolution ALMA observations of the [C II] 157.74 μm line and rest-frame 160 μm continuum emission in two z ∼ 3 dusty, star-forming galaxies—ALESS 49.1 and ALESS 57.1, combined with resolved CO (3–2) observations. In both sources, the [C II] surface brightness distribution is dominated by a compact core ≤1 kpc in radius, a factor of 2–3 smaller than the extent of the CO (3–2) emission. In ALESS 49.1, we find an additional extended (8 kpc radius), low surface brightness [C II] component. Based on an analysis of mock ALMA observations, the [C II] and 160 μm continuum surface brightness distributions are inconsistent with a single-Gaussian surface brightness distribution with the same size as the CO (3–2) emission. The [C II] rotation curves flatten at ≃2 kpc radius, suggesting that the kinematics of the central regions are dominated by a baryonic disk. Both galaxies exhibit a strong [C II]/far-IR (FIR) deficit on 1 kpc scales, with FIR surface brightness to [C II]/FIR slope steeper than in local star-forming galaxies. A comparison of the [C II]/CO (3–2) observations with photodissociation region models suggests a strong far-UV (FUV) radiation field (G 0 ∼ 104) and high gas density (n(H) ∼ 104–105 cm‑3) in the central regions of ALESS 49.1 and ALESS 57.1. The most direct interpretation of the pronounced [C II]/FIR deficit is a thermal saturation of the C+ fine-structure levels at temperatures ≥500 K, driven by the strong FUV field.