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Simulated observations of sub-millimetre galaxies : the impact of single-dish resolution and field variance.

Cowley, William I. and Lacey, Cedric G. and Baugh, Carlton M. and Cole, Shaun (2015) 'Simulated observations of sub-millimetre galaxies : the impact of single-dish resolution and field variance.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 446 (2). pp. 1784-1798.


Recent observational evidence suggests that the coarse angular resolution [∼20 arcsec full width at half maximum (FWHM)] of single-dish telescopes at sub-mm wavelengths has biased the observed galaxy number counts by blending together the sub-mm emission from multiple sub-mm galaxies (SMGs). We use lightcones computed from an updated implementation of the galform semi-analytic model to generate 50 mock sub-mm surveys of 0.5 deg2 at 850 μm, taking into account the effects of the finite single-dish beam in a more accurate way than has been done previously. We find that blending of SMGs does lead to an enhancement of source extracted number counts at bright fluxes (S850 μm ≳ 1 mJy). Typically, three to six galaxies contribute 90 per cent of the flux of an S850 μm = 5 mJy source and these blended galaxies are physically unassociated. We find that field-to-field variations are comparable to Poisson fluctuations for our S850 μm > 5 mJy SMG population, which has a median redshift z50 = 2.0, but are greater than Poisson for the S850 μm > 1 mJy population (z50 = 2.8). In a detailed comparison to a recent interferometric survey targeted at single-dish detected sources, we reproduce the difference between single-dish and interferometer number counts and find a median redshift (z50 = 2.5) in excellent agreement with the observed value (z50 = 2.5 ± 0.2). We also present predictions for single-dish survey number counts at 450 and 1100 μm, which show good agreement with observational data.

Item Type:Article
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Keywords:Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: high-redshift, Galaxies: starburst, Submillimetre: diffuse background, Sub-millimetre: galaxies.
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:15 October 2014
Date deposited:26 November 2014
Date of first online publication:21 November 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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