ISM Properties of a Massive Dusty Star-forming Galaxy Discovered at z ∼ 7

M. L. Strandet, A. Weiss, C. De Breuck, D. P. Marrone, J. D. Vieira, M. Aravena, M. L.N. Ashby, M. Béthermin, M. S. Bothwell, C. M. Bradford, J. E. Carlstrom, S. C. Chapman, D. J.M. Cunningham, Chian Chou Chen, C. D. Fassnacht, A. H. Gonzalez, T. R. Greve, B. Gullberg, C. C. Hayward, Y. HezavehK. Litke, J. Ma, M. Malkan, K. M. Menten, T. Miller, E. J. Murphy, D. Narayanan, K. A. Phadke, K. M. Rotermund, J. S. Spilker, J. Sreevani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the discovery and constrain the physical conditions of the interstellar medium of the highest-redshift millimeter-selected dusty star-forming galaxy to date, SPT-S J031132-5823.4 (hereafter SPT0311-58), at z = 6.900 ± 0.002. SPT0311-58 was discovered via its 1.4 mm thermal dust continuum emission in the South Pole Telescope (SPT)-SZ survey. The spectroscopic redshift was determined through an Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 3 mm frequency scan that detected CO(6-5), CO(7-6), and [C I](2-1), and subsequently was confirmed by detections of CO(3-2) with the Australia Telescope Compact Array and [C II] with APEX. We constrain the properties of the ISM in SPT0311-58 with a radiative transfer analysis of the dust continuum photometry and the CO and [C I] line emission. This allows us to determine the gas content without ad hoc assumptions about gas mass scaling factors. SPT0311-58 is extremely massive, with an intrinsic gas mass of Mgas 3.3±1.9×1011 M. Its large mass and intense star formation is very rare for a source well into the epoch of reionization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017


  • Early universe
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: star formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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