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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Ian Smail

Danielson, A.L.R., Swinbank, A.M., Smail, I., Simpson, J.M., Casey, C.M., Chapman, S.C., da Cunha, E., Hodge, J.A., Walter, F., Wardlow, J.L., Alexander, D.M., Brandt, W.N., de Breuck, C., Coppin, K.E.K., Dannerbauer, H., Dickinson, M., Edge, A.C., Gawiser, E., Ivison, R.J., Karim, A., Kovacs, A., Lutz, D., Menten, K., Schinnerer, E., Weiß, A. & van der Werf, P. (2017). An ALMA Survey of Submillimeter Galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: Spectroscopic Redshifts. The Astrophysical Journal 840(2): 78.

Author(s) from Durham


We present spectroscopic redshifts of {\text{}}{S}870μ {{m}} ≳ 2 mJy submillimeter galaxies (SMGs), which have been identified from the ALMA follow-up observations of 870 μm detected sources in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South (the ALMA-LESS survey). We derive spectroscopic redshifts for 52 SMGs, with a median of z = 2.4 ± 0.1. However, the distribution features a high-redshift tail, with ∼23% of the SMGs at z≥slant 3. Spectral diagnostics suggest that the SMGs are young starbursts, and the velocity offsets between the nebular emission and UV ISM absorption lines suggest that many are driving winds, with velocity offsets of up to 2000 km s‑1. Using the spectroscopic redshifts and the extensive UV-to-radio photometry in this field, we produce optimized spectral energy distributions (SEDs) using Magphys, and use the SEDs to infer a median stellar mass of {M}\star = (6 ± 1)× 1010 M {}ȯ for our SMGs with spectroscopic redshift. By combining these stellar masses with the star formation rates (measured from the far-infrared SEDs), we show that SMGs (on average) lie a factor of ∼5 above the so-called “main sequence” at z∼ 2. We provide this library of 52 template fits with robust and uniquely well-sampled SEDs as a resource for future studies of SMGs, and also release the spectroscopic catalog of ∼2000 (mostly infrared-selected) galaxies targeted as part of the spectroscopic campaign.