Deep 1.1mm-wavelength imaging of the GOODS-S field by AzTEC/ASTE - II. Redshift distribution and nature of the submillimetre galaxy population

Min S. Yun, K. S. Scott, Yicheng Guo, I. Aretxaga, M. Giavalisco, J. E. Austermann, P. Capak, Yuxi Chen, H. Ezawa, B. Hatsukade, D. H. Hughes, D. Iono, S. Johnson, R. Kawabe, K. Kohno, J. Lowenthal, N. Miller, G. Morrison, T. Oshima, T. A. PereraM. Salvato, J. Silverman, Y. Tamura, C. C. Williams, G. W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


We report the results of the counterpart identification and a detailed analysis of the physical properties of the 48 sources discovered in our deep 1.1-mm wavelength imaging survey of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey-South (GOODS-S) field using the AzTEC instrument on the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment. One or more robust or tentative counterpart candidate is found for 27 and 14 AzTEC sources, respectively, by employing deep radio continuum, Spitzer/Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer and Infrared Array Camera, and Large APEX Bolometer Camera 870μm data. Five of the sources (10 per cent) have two robust counterparts each, supporting the idea that these galaxies are strongly clustered and/or heavily confused. Photometric redshifts and star formation rates (SFRs) are derived by analysing ultraviolet(UV)-to-optical and infrared(IR)-to-radio spectral energy distributions (SEDs). The median redshift of z med~ 2.6 is similar to other earlier estimates, but we show that 80 per cent of the AzTEC-GOODS sources are at z≥ 2, with a significant high-redshift tail (20 per cent at z≥ 3.3). Rest-frame UV and optical properties of AzTEC sources are extremely diverse, spanning 10mag in the i- and K-band photometry (a factor of 10 4 in flux density) with median values of i= 25.3 and K= 22.6 and a broad range of red colour (i-K= 0-6) with an average value of i-K≈ 3. These AzTEC sources are some of the most luminous galaxies in the rest-frame optical bands at z≥ 2, with inferred stellar masses M *= (1-30) × 10 10M and UV-derived SFRs of SFR UV≳ 10 1-3M yr -1. The IR-derived SFR, 200-2000M yr -1, is independent of z or M *. The resulting specific star formation rates, SSFR ≈ 1-100Gyr -1, are 10-100 times higher than similar mass galaxies at z= 0, and they extend the previously observed rapid rise in the SSFR with redshift to z= 2-5. These galaxies have a SFR high enough to have built up their entire stellar mass within their Hubble time. We find only marginal evidence for an active galactic nucleus (AGN) contribution to the near-IR and mid-IR SEDs, even among the X-ray detected sources, and the derived M * and SFR show little dependence on the presence of an X-ray bright AGN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-985
Number of pages29
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Galaxy: evolution
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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