Measurements of CO redshifts with Z-spec for lensed submillimeter galaxies discovered in the H-atlas survey

R. E. Lupu, K. S. Scott, J. E. Aguirre, I. Aretxaga, R. Auld, E. Barton, A. Beelen, F. Bertoldi, J. J. Bock, D. Bonfield, C. M. Bradford, S. Buttiglione, A. Cava, D. L. Clements, J. Cooke, A. Cooray, H. Dannerbauer, A. Dariush, G. De Zotti, L. DunneS. Dye, S. Eales, D. Frayer, J. Fritz, J. Glenn, D. H. Hughes, E. Ibar, R. J. Ivison, M. J. Jarvis, J. Kamenetzky, S. Kim, G. Lagache, L. Leeuw, S. Maddox, P. R. Maloney, H. Matsuhara, E. J. Murphy, B. J. Naylor, M. Negrello, H. Nguyen, A. Omont, E. Pascale, M. Pohlen, E. Rigby, G. Rodighiero, S. Serjeant, D. Smith, P. Temi, M. Thompson, I. Valtchanov, A. Verma, J. D. Vieira, J. Zmuidzinas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We present new observations from Z-Spec, a broadband 185-305GHz spectrometer, of five submillimeter bright lensed sources selected from the Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey science demonstration phase catalog. We construct a redshift-finding algorithm using combinations of the signal to noise of all the lines falling in the Z-Spec bandpass to determine redshifts with high confidence, even in cases where the signal to noise in individual lines is low. We measure the dust continuum in all sources and secure CO redshifts for four out of five (z 1.5-3). In one source, SDP.17, we tentatively identify two independent redshifts and a water line, confirmed at z = 2.308. Our sources have properties characteristic of dusty starburst galaxies, with magnification-corrected star formation rates of 102-3 M yr-1. Lower limits for the dust masses (∼a few 108 M ) and spatial extents (1kpc equivalent radius) are derived from the continuum spectral energy distributions, corresponding to dust temperatures between 54 and 69K. In the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) approximation, we derive relatively low CO excitation temperatures (≲ 100 K) and optical depths (τ ≲ 1). Performing a non-LTE excitation analysis using RADEX, we find that the CO lines measured by Z-Spec (from J = 4 → 3 to 10 → 9, depending on the galaxy) localize the best solutions to either a high-temperature/low-density region or a low/temperature/high-density region near the LTE solution, with the optical depth varying accordingly. Observations of additional CO lines, CO(1-0) in particular, are needed to constrain the non-LTE models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • line: identification
  • submillimeter: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Measurements of CO redshifts with Z-spec for lensed submillimeter galaxies discovered in the H-atlas survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this