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Faint submillimeter galaxies identified through their optical/near-infrared colors. I. Spatial clustering and halo masses.

Chen, C.-C. and Smail, I. and Swinbank, A.M. and Simpson, J.M. and Almaini, O. and Conselice, C.J. and Hartley, W.G. and Mortlock, A. and Simpson, C. and Wilkinson, A. (2016) 'Faint submillimeter galaxies identified through their optical/near-infrared colors. I. Spatial clustering and halo masses.', Astrophysical journal., 831 (1). p. 91.


The properties of submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) that are fainter than the confusion limit of blank-field single-dish surveys (S850≲ 2 mJy) are poorly constrained. Using a newly developed color selection technique, Optical-Infrared Triple Color (OIRTC), that has been shown to successfully {select} such faint SMGs, we identify a sample of 2938 OIRTC-selected galaxies, dubbed Triple Color Galaxies (TCGs), in the UKIDSS-UDS field. We show that these galaxies have a median 850 μm flux of S850=0.96±0.04 mJy (equivalent to a star-formation rate SFR ∼60−100 M⊙ yr−1 based on SED fitting), representing the first large sample of faint SMGs that bridges the gap between bright SMGs and normal star-forming galaxies in S850 and LIR. We assess the basic properties of TCGs and their relationship with other galaxy populations at z∼2. We measure the two-point autocorrelation function for this population and derive a typical halo mass of log10(Mhalo) =12.9+0.2−0.3, 12.7+0.1−0.2, and 12.9+0.2−0.3 h−1M⊙ at z=1−2, 2−3, and 3−5, respectively. Together with the bright SMGs (S850≳2 mJy) and a comparison sample of less far-infrared luminous star-forming galaxies, we find a lack of dependence between spatial clustering and S850 (or SFR), suggesting that the difference between these populations may lie in their local galactic environment. Lastly, on the scale of ∼8−17 kpc at 1<z<5 we find a tentative enhancement of the clustering of TCGs over the comparison star-forming galaxies, suggesting that some faint SMGs are physically associated pairs, perhaps reflecting a merging origin in their triggering.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:13 August 2016
Date deposited:09 March 2017
Date of first online publication:28 October 2016
Date first made open access:09 March 2017

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