A 1.1mm AzTEC Survey Tracing Accelerated Galaxy Formation Towards a Protocluster at z 3.8

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy

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Aztec has recently conducted a sensitive, wide-area (300 sq. Armin's) continuum survey at 1.1mm using the 15-m James Clerk Maxwell Telescope towards 4C41.17, a powerful high-redshift (z 3.8) radio galaxy. These Aztec data, which cover an area >40 times larger than our previous SCUBA survey, reveal a significant over-density of luminous, massive dust-enshrouded galaxies, compared to the results from lower-redshift blank-field sub-mm surveys. One natural interpretation of these new AzTEC data is that the over-density is tracing a large (5 x 5 Mpc) "proto-cluster" structure at z 3.8 associated with the environment of 4C41.17, within which the formation of ultra-luminous starburst galaxies (with rest-frame FIR luminosities >5 x 1012 Lsun or SFRs > 500 Msun/yr) is taking place at an accelerated rate. Proving the physical association of these massive optically-faint starbursts with the environment of this high-z AGN, and not with the blank-field sub-mm population, for which 50% of the population lies at 1.9 < z < 2.9, remains an outstanding problem. In this presentation we will describe the AzTEC survey, the empirical evidence for this protocluster structure in the early universe, and the planned multi-wavelength follow-up observations of the brightest AzTEC sources towards 4C41.17 that may demonstrate that we are witnessing accelerated galaxy formation, via an increased rate of merging gas-rich galaxies within a rapidly-developing gravitational potential. AzTEC is one of the suite of instruments destined for the 50-m Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT). We will conclude this presentation with a summary of future LMT observations that will trace the evolution of obscured starformation in the dynamic environments towards a significant sample of intermediate and high-z powerful AGN with greater sensitivity and spatial resolution.

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