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A kpc-scale-resolved study of unobscured and obscured star formation activity in normal galaxies at z = 1.5 and 2.2 from ALMA and HiZELS

Cheng, Cheng and Ibar, Edo and Smail, Ian and Molina, Juan and Sobral, David and Escala, Andrés and Best, Philip and Cochrane, Rachel and Gillman, Steven and Swinbank, Mark and Ivison, R.J. and Huang, Jia-Sheng and Hughes, Thomas M. and Villard, Eric and Cirasuolo, Michele (2020) 'A kpc-scale-resolved study of unobscured and obscured star formation activity in normal galaxies at z = 1.5 and 2.2 from ALMA and HiZELS.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 499 (4). pp. 5241-5256.


We present Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) continuum observations of a sample of nine star-forming galaxies at redshifts 1.47 and 2.23 selected from the High-z Emission Line Survey (HiZELS). Four galaxies in our sample are detected at high significance by ALMA at a resolution of 0′′.25 at rest-frame 355 μm. Together with the previously observed H α emission, from adaptive optics-assisted integral-field-unit spectroscopy (∼0′′.15 resolution), and F606W and F140W imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope (∼0′′.2 resolution), we study the star formation activity, stellar and dust mass in these high-redshift galaxies at ∼kpc-scale resolution. We find that ALMA detection rates are higher for more massive galaxies (M* > 1010.5 M⊙) and higher [N II]/H α ratios (>0.25, a proxy for gas-phase metallicity). The dust extends out to a radius of 8 kpc, with a smooth structure, even for those galaxies presenting clumpy H α morphologies. The half-light radii (Rdust) derived for the detected galaxies are of the order ∼4.5 kpc, more than twice the size of submillimetre-selected galaxies at a similar redshift. Our global star formation rate estimates – from far-infrared and extinction-corrected H α luminosities – are in good agreement. However, the different morphologies of the different phases of the interstellar medium suggest complex extinction properties of the high-redshift normal galaxies.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2020, The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:28 September 2020
Date deposited:29 June 2021
Date of first online publication:02 October 2020
Date first made open access:29 June 2021

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