Verifying the identity of high-redshift massive galaxies through the clustering of lower mass galaxies around them
Muñoz, Joseph A.
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CitationMuñoz, Joseph A., and Abraham Loeb. 2008. “Verifying the Identity of High-Redshift Massive Galaxies through the Clustering of Lower Mass Galaxies around Them.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 385 (4): 2175–80. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.12986.x.
AbstractMassive high-redshift galaxies form in overdense regions where the probability of forming other galaxies is also strongly enhanced. Given an observed flux of a galaxy, the inferred mass of its host halo tends to be larger as its inferred redshift increases. As the mass and redshift of a galaxy halo increase, the expected clustering of other galaxies around it gets stronger. It is therefore possible to verify the high-redshift identity of a galaxy (prior to an unambiguous spectral identification) from the clustering of other galaxies around it. We illustrate this method for the massive galaxy suggested by Mobasher et al. to be at redshift z similar to 6.5. If this galaxy were to exist at z similar to 6.5, there should have been a mean of similar to 10 galaxies larger than a hundredth of its mass and having z-band magnitudes less than similar to 22 detected as i-dropouts in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). We calculate an approximate probability distribution for neighbour galaxies and determine that there is less than a similar to 0.3 per cent chance of detecting no massive neighbour galaxies. The lack of other massive z similar to 6.5 galaxies in the HUDF image argues that the Mobasher et al. galaxy is instead a low-redshift interloper. We generalize our results to other galaxy masses and redshifts.
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