Wednesday 29th Aug 2012


The First Hyper-Luminous Infrared Galaxy Discovered by WISE

Peter R. M. Eisenhardt, Jingwen Wu, Chao-Wei Tsai, Roberto Assef, Dominic Benford, Andrew Blain, Carrie Bridge, J. J. Condon, Michael C. Cushing, Roc Cutri, Neal J. Evans II, Chris Gelino, Roger L. Griffith, Carl J. Grillmair, Tom Jarrett, Carol J. Lonsdale, Frank J. Masci, Brian S. Mason, Sara Petty, Jack Sayers, S. Adam Stanford, Daniel Stern, Edward L. Wright, Lin Yan

We report the discovery by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer of the z = 2.452 source WISE J181417.29+341224.9, the first hyperluminous source found in the WISE survey. WISE 1814+3412 is also the prototype for an all-sky sample of ~1000 extremely luminous "W1W2-dropouts" (sources faint or undetected by WISE at 3.4 and 4.6 microns and well detected at 12 or 22 microns). The WISE data and a 350 micron detection give a minimum bolometric luminosity of 3.7 x 10^13 Lsun, with ~10^14 Lsun plausible. Followup images reveal four nearby sources: a QSO and two Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs) at z = 2.45, and an M dwarf star. The brighter LBG dominates the bolometric emission. Gravitational lensing is unlikely given the source locations and their different spectra and colors. The dominant LBG spectrum indicates a star formation rate ~300 Msun/yr, accounting for < 10% of the bolometric luminosity. Strong 22 micron emission relative to 350 microns implies that warm dust contributes significantly to the luminosity, while cooler dust normally associated with starbursts is constrained by an upper limit at 1.1 mm. Radio emission is ~10x above the far-infrared/radio correlation, indicating an active galactic nucleus is present. An obscured AGN combined with starburst and evolved stellar components can account for the observations. If the black hole mass follows the local M_BH-bulge mass relation, the implied Eddington ratio is >~4. WISE 1814+3412 may be a heavily obscured object where the peak AGN activity occurred prior to the peak era of star formation.


Submillimeter Follow-up of WISE-Selected Hyperluminous Galaxies

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

We have used the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) to follow-up a sample of WISE-selected, hyperluminous galaxies, so called W1W2-dropout galaxies. This is a rare (~ 1000 all-sky) population of galaxies at high redshift (peaks at z=2-3), that are faint or undetected by WISE at 3.4 and 4.6 um, yet are clearly detected at 12 and 22 um. The optical spectra of most of these galaxies show significant AGN activity. We observed 14 high-redshift (z > 1.7) W1W2-dropout galaxies with SHARC-II at 350 to 850 um, with 9 detections; and observed 18 with Bolocam at 1.1 mm, with five detections. Warm Spitzer follow-up of 25 targets at 3.6 and 4.5 um, 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 submm ratios than other galaxy templates, suggesting a hotter dust temperature. We estimate their dust temperatures to be 60-120 K using a single-temperature model. Their infrared luminosities are well over 10^{13} Lsun. 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.

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