Observing Cold Gas in Submillimeter Galaxies: Detection of CO(1-0) Emission in SMM J13120+4242 with the Green Bank Telescope
Hainline, L. J.
Blain, A. W.
Greve, T. R.
Chapman, S. C.
Ivison, R. J.
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We report the first detection of CO(1-0) emission from a submillimeter-selected galaxy, using the Green Bank Telescope. We identify the line in the spectrum of SMM J13120+4242 as a broad emission feature at z=3.408, with Delta(V_FWHM)=1040 +/- 190 km/s. If the observed CO(1-0) line profile arises from a single object and not several merging objects, then the CO(4-3)/CO(1-0) brightness temperature ratio of ~0.26 suggests n(H_2) > 3-10 x 10^2 cm^-3 and the presence of sub-thermally excited gas. The integrated line flux implies a cold molecular gas mass M(H_2)=1.6 x 10^11 M_sun, comparable to the dynamical mass estimate and 4 times larger than the H_2 mass predicted from the CO(4-3) line assuming a brightness temperature ratio of 1.0. While our observations confirm that this submillimeter galaxy is massive and gas-rich, they also suggest that extrapolating gas masses from J_upper >= 3 transitions of CO leads to considerable uncertainties. We also report an upper limit to the mass of cold molecular gas in a second submillimeter galaxy, SMM J09431+4700, of M(H_2)< 4 x 10^10 M_sun.
Hainline, L. J., A. W. Blain, T. R. Greve, S. C. Chapman, et al. 2006. "Observing Cold Gas in Submillimeter Galaxies: Detection of CO(1-0) Emission in SMM J13120+4242 with the Green Bank Telescope." The Astrophysical Journal 650(2): 614-623