A Vigorous Starburst in the SCUBA Galaxy N2 850.4
Chapman, S. C.
Ivison, R. J.
Blain, A. W.
Heckman, T. M.
Dunlop, J. S.
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We present optical and near-IR spectroscopy of a z=2.38 hyperluminous IR galaxy, covering the restframe wavelength range from 1000-5000A. It appears to comprise two components separated by less than 1" on the sky (<8kpc); one component (B) is blue, the other (P) is red in restframe UV-optical colours. The combined system has an optical luminosity of ~8L* and its restframe optical spectrum is characteristic of a Seyfert AGN. However, its restframe UV spectrum exhibits striking features associated with young stars, including P-Cygni lines from stellar winds and blue-shifted interstellar absorption lines indicative of a galactic outflow. Redshifts are derived from stellar photospheric lines in the UV and from narrow emission lines in the restframe optical, and these are compared to that measured for the molecular gas recently detected with the IRAM interferometer. The offsets indicate that the far-IR emission is most likely associated with the near-IR source P, which hosts the Seyfert nucleus, while the UV-bright component B is blueshifted by 400km/s. This suggests that the two components are probably merging and the resulting gravitational interactions have triggered the hyperluminous activity. Modelling of the UV spectral features implies that the starburst within the UV component of this system has been going on for at least ~10Myrs. Assuming that the bolometrically-dominant obscured component has a similar lifetime, we estimate that it has so far formed a total stellar mass of ~10^11 Mo. If this star formation continues at its present level for substantially longer, or if this activity is repeated, then the present-day descendant of N2 850.4 will be a very luminous galaxy.
Smail, Ian, S. C. Chapman, R. J. Ivison, A. W. Blain, et al. 2003. "A Vigorous Starburst in the SCUBA Galaxy N2 850.4." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 342(4): 1185-1193