The Identification of a Dusty Multiarm Spiral Galaxy at z = 3.06 with JWST and ALMA

Yunjing Wu, Zheng Cai, Fengwu Sun, Fuyan Bian, Xiaojing Lin, Zihao Li, Mingyu Li, Franz E. Bauer, Eiichi Egami, Xiaohui Fan, Jorge González-López, Jianan Li, Feige Wang, Jinyi Yang, Shiwu Zhang, Siwei Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Spiral arms serve crucial purposes in star formation and galaxy evolution. In this paper, we report the identification of "A2744-DSG-z3,"a dusty, multiarm spiral galaxy at z = 3.059 using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) NIRISS imaging and grism spectroscopy. A2744-DSG-z3 was discovered as a gravitationally lensed submillimeter galaxy with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). This is the most distant stellar spiral structure seen thus far, consistent with cosmological simulations that suggest z ≈ 3 as the epoch when spirals emerge. Thanks to the gravitational lensing and excellent spatial resolution of JWST, the spiral arms are resolved with a spatial resolution of ≈290 pc. Based on spectral energy distribution fitting, the spiral galaxy has a delensed star formation rate of 85 ± 30Me yr-1, and a stellar mass of ≈1010.6Me, indicating that A2744-DSG-z3 is a mainsequence galaxy. After fitting the spiral arms, we find a stellar effective radius (Re,star) of 5.0 ± 1.5 kpc. Combining with ALMA measurements, we find that the effective radii ratio between dust and stars is ≈0.4, similar to those of massive star-forming galaxies (SFGs) at z ∼ 2, indicating a compact dusty core in A2744-DSG-z3. Moreover, this galaxy appears to be living in a group environment: including A2744-DSG-z3, at least three galaxies at z = 3.05-3.06 are spectroscopically confirmed by JWST/NIRISS and ALMA, residing within a lensing-corrected projected scale of ≈70 kpc. This, along with the asymmetric brightness profile, further suggests that the spiral arms may be triggered by minor-merger events at z ≳ 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL1
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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