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Paper: A Mid-infrared Spectroscopic Study of Submillimeter Galaxies
Volume: 380, At the Edge of the Universe: Latest Results from the Deepest Astronomical Surveys
Page: 417
Authors: Valiante, E.; Lutz, D.; Sturm, E.; Genzel, R.; Tacconi, L.J.; Lehnert, M.D.; Baker, A.J.
Abstract: We present rest frame mid-infrared spectroscopy of a sample of 13 submillimeter galaxies, obtained using the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. We find that the majority are well fitted by a starburst template or by the superposition of PAH emission features and a weak mid-infrared continuum, the latter a tracer of Active Galactic Nuclei that includes Compton-thick ones. We obtain mid-infrared spectroscopic redshifts for all nine sources detected with IRS. For three of them the redshifts were previously unknown. The median value of the redshift distribution is z = 2.79, slightly higher than the median spectroscopic redshift from optical surveys, if we assume that the four IRS non-detections are at high redshift. The rest frame mid-infrared spectral energy distributions are consistent with those of local ultraluminous infrared galaxies, but scaled-up further in luminosity. The mid-infrared spectra support the scenario that submillimeter galaxies are sites of extreme star formation and represent a critical phase in the formation of massive galaxies.
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