We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

The average submillimetre properties of Lyman α blobs at z = 3.

Hine, N. K. and Geach, J. E. and Matsuda, Y. and Lehmer, B. D. and Michałowski, M. J. and Farrah, D. and Spaans, M. and Oliver, S. J. and Smith, D. J. B. and Chapman, S. C. and Jenness, T. and Alexander, D. M. and Robson, I. and van der Werf, P. (2016) 'The average submillimetre properties of Lyman α blobs at z = 3.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 460 (4). pp. 4075-4085.


Ly α blobs (LABs) offer insight into the complex interface between galaxies and their circumgalactic medium. Whilst some LABs have been found to contain luminous star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei that could potentially power the Ly α emission, others appear not to be associated with obvious luminous galaxy counterparts. It has been speculated that LABs may be powered by cold gas streaming on to a central galaxy, providing an opportunity to directly observe the ‘cold accretion’ mode of galaxy growth. Star-forming galaxies in LABs could be dust obscured and therefore detectable only at longer wavelengths. We stack deep Submillimetre Common User Bolometer Array 2 (SCUBA-2) observations of the Small Selected Area 22h field to determine the average 850 μm flux density of 34 LABs. We measure S850 = 0.6 ± 0.2 mJy for all LABs, but stacking the LABs by size indicates that only the largest third (area ≥1794 kpc2) have a mean detection, at 4.5σ, with S850 = 1.4 ± 0.3 mJy. Only two LABs (1 and 18) have individual SCUBA-2 >3.5σ detections at a depth of 1.1 mJy beam−1. We consider two possible mechanisms for powering the LABs and find that central star formation is likely to dominate the emission of Ly α, with cold accretion playing a secondary role.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:16 May 2016
Date deposited:30 June 2017
Date of first online publication:08 June 2016
Date first made open access:30 June 2017

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar