Towards a census of high-redshift dusty galaxies with Herschel
A selection of “500 μm-risers”
Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille,
2 Universite de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, IRAP, Toulouse, France
3 Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa, Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal
4 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciencias do Espaço, Universidade de Lisboa, OAL, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal
5 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
6 Departamento de astrofisica, Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB, CSIC-INTA), Carretera de Ajalvir, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
7 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
8 Astronomy Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK
Accepted: 30 January 2018
Context. Over the last decade a large number of dusty star-forming galaxies has been discovered up to redshift z = 2 − 3 and recent studies have attempted to push the highly confused Herschel SPIRE surveys beyond that distance. To search for z ≥ 4 galaxies they often consider the sources with fluxes rising from 250 μm to 500 μm (so-called “500 μm-risers”). Herschel surveys offer a unique opportunity to efficiently select a large number of these rare objects, and thus gain insight into the prodigious star-forming activity that takes place in the very distant Universe.
Aims. We aim to implement a novel method to obtain a statistical sample of 500 μm-risers and fully evaluate our selection inspecting different models of galaxy evolution.
Methods. We consider one of the largest and deepest Herschel surveys, the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey. We develop a novel selection algorithm which links the source extraction and spectral energy distribution fitting. To fully quantify selection biases we make end-to-end simulations including clustering and lensing.
Results. We select 133 500 μm-risers over 55 deg2, imposing the criteria: S500 > S350 > S250, S250 > 13.2 mJy and S500 > 30 mJy. Differential number counts are in fairly good agreement with models, displaying a better match than other existing samples. The estimated fraction of strongly lensed sources is 24+6-5% based on models.
Conclusions. We present the faintest sample of 500 μm-risers down to S250 = 13.2 mJy. We show that noise and strong lensing have an important impact on measured counts and redshift distribution of selected sources. We estimate the flux-corrected star formation rate density at 4 < z < 5 with the 500 μm-risers and find it to be close to the total value measured in far-infrared. This indicates that colour selection is not a limiting effect to search for the most massive, dusty z > 4 sources.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: statistics / galaxies: photometry / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: high-redshift / infrared: galaxies
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0;), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.