Very High Gas Fractions and Extended Gas Reservoirs in z=1.5 Disk Galaxies

Abstract : We present evidence for very high gas fractions and extended molecular gas reservoirs in normal, near-infrared selected (BzK) galaxies at z~1.5, based on multi-configuration CO[2-1] observations obtained at the IRAM PdBI. Six of the six galaxies observed were securely detected. High resolution observations resolve the CO emission in four of them, implying sizes of order of 6-11 kpc and suggesting the presence of rotation. The UV morphologies are consistent with clumpy, unstable disks, and the UV sizes are consistent with the CO sizes. The star formation efficiencies are homogeneously low and similar to local spirals - the resulting gas depletion times are ~0.5 Gyr, much higher than what is seen in high-z submm galaxies and quasars. The CO luminosities can be predicted to within 0.15 dex from the star formation rates and stellar masses, implying a tight correlation of the gas mass with these quantities. We use dynamical models of clumpy disk galaxies to derive dynamical masses. These models are able to reproduce the peculiar spectral line shapes of the CO emission. After accounting for the stellar and dark matter masses we derive gas masses of 0.4-1.2x10^11 Msun. The conversion factor is very high: alpha_CO=3.6+-0.8, consistent with the Galaxy but four times higher than that of local ultra-luminous IR galaxies. The gas accounts for an impressive 50-65% of the baryons within the galaxies' half light radii. We are witnessing truly gas-dominated galaxies at z~1.5, a finding that explains the high specific SFRs observed for z>1 galaxies. The BzK galaxies can be viewed as scaled-up versions of local disk galaxies, with low efficiency star formation taking place inside extended, low excitation gas disks. They are markedly different than local ULIRGs and high-z submm galaxies, which have more excited and compact gas.
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Contributor : Bruno Savelli <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 23, 2014 - 3:16:05 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 10:42:20 AM

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E. Daddi, F. Bournaud, F. Walter, H. Dannerbauer, C. Carilli, et al.. Very High Gas Fractions and Extended Gas Reservoirs in z=1.5 Disk Galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2010, 713 (1), pp.686. ⟨10.1088/0004-637X/713/1/686⟩. ⟨cea-00995667⟩

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