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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Ian Smail

Ma, C.-J., Smail, I., Swinbank, A. M., Simpson, J. M., Thomson, A. P., Chen, C.-C., Danielson, A. L. R., Hilton, M., Tadaki, K., Stott, J. & Kodama, T. (2015). Dusty starbursts and the formation of elliptical galaxies: A SCUBA-2 survey of a z = 1.46 cluster. The Astrophysical Journal 806(2): 257.

Author(s) from Durham


We report the results of a deep SCUBA-2 850 and 450 μm survey for dust-obscured ultra-/luminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs) in the field of the z = 1.46 cluster XCS J2215.9−1738. We detect a striking overdensity of submillimeter sources coincident with the core of this cluster: ~3–4 × higher than expected in a blank field. We use the likely radio and mid-infrared counterparts to show that the bulk of these submillimeter sources have spectroscopic or photometric redshifts that place them in the cluster and that their multiwavelength properties are consistent with this association. The average far-infrared luminosities of these galaxies are (1.0 ± 0.1) × 1012 ${L}_{\odot }$, placing them on the U/LIRG boundary. Using the total star formation occurring in the obscured U/LIRG population within the cluster, we show that the resulting mass-normalized star formation rate for this system supports previous claims of a rapid increase in star formation activity in cluster cores out to $z\sim 1.5$, which must be associated with the ongoing formation of the early-type galaxies that reside in massive clusters today.