Submillimeter follow-up of wise-selected hyperluminous galaxies

Jingwen Wu, Chao Wei Tsai, Jack Sayers, Dominic Benford, Carrie Bridge, Andrew Blain, Peterr M. Eisenhardt, Daniel Stern, Sara Petty, Roberto Assef, Shane Bussmann, Julia M. Comerford, Roc Cutri, Neal J. Evans, Roger Griffith, Thomas Jarrett, Sean Lake, Carol Lonsdale, Jeonghee Rho, Adam StanfordBenjamin Weiner, Edward L. Wright, Lin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


We have used the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) to follow-up a sample of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) selected, hyperluminous galaxies, the so-called W1W2-dropout galaxies. This is a rare ( ∼1000 all-sky) population of galaxies at high redshift (peaks at z= 2-3), which are faint or undetected by WISE at 3.4 and 4.6 μm, yet are clearly detected at 12 and 22 μm. The optical spectra of most of these galaxies show significant active galactic nucleus activity. We observed 14 high-redshift (z > 1.7) W1W2-dropout galaxies with SHARC-II at 350-850 μm, with nine detections, and observed 18 with Bolocam at 1.1mm, with five detections. Warm Spitzer follow-up of 25 targets at 3.6 and 4.5 μm, as well as optical spectra of 12 targets, are also presented in the paper. Combining WISE data with observations from warm Spitzer and CSO, we constructed their mid-IR to millimeter spectral energy distributions (SEDs). These SEDs have a consistent shape, showing significantly higher mid-IR to submillimeter ratios than other galaxy templates, suggesting a hotter dust temperature. We estimate their dust temperatures to be 60-120K using a single-temperature model. Their infrared luminosities are well over 10 13 L⊙. These SEDs are not well fitted with existing galaxy templates, suggesting they are a new population with very high luminosity and hot dust. They are likely among the most luminous galaxies in the universe. We argue that they are extreme cases of luminous, hot dust-obscured galaxies (DOGs), possibly representing a short evolutionary phase during galaxy merging and evolution. A better understanding of their long-wavelength properties needs ALMA as well as Herschel data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number96
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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