A puzzling non-detection of [O III] and [C II] from a z ≈ 7.7 galaxy observed with ALMA

C. Binggeli*, A. K. Inoue, T. Hashimoto, M. C. Toribio, E. Zackrisson, S. Ramstedt, K. Mawatari, Y. Harikane, H. Matsuo, T. Okamoto, K. Ota, I. Shimizu, Y. Tamura, Y. Taniguchi, H. Umehata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Context. Characterizing the galaxy population in the early Universe holds the key to understanding the evolution of these objects and the role they played in cosmic reionization. However, there have been very few observations at the very highest redshifts to date. Aims. In order to shed light on the properties of galaxies in the high-redshift Universe and their interstellar media, we observe the Lyman-α emitting galaxy z7_GSD_3811 at z = 7.664 with bands 6 and 8 at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Methods. We target the far-infrared [O iii] 88 µm and [C ii] 158 µm emission lines and dust continuum in the star-forming galaxy z7_GSD_3811 with ALMA. We combine these measurements with earlier observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) in order to characterize the object and compare the results to those of earlier studies that observed [O iii] and [C ii] emission in high-redshift galaxies. Results. The [O iii] 88 µm and [C ii] 158 µm emission lines are undetected at the position of z7_GSD_3811, with 3σ upper limits of 1.6 × 108 L and 4.0 × 107 L, respectively. We do not detect any dust continuum in band 6 nor band 8. The measured rms in the band 8 and band 6 continua are 26 and 9.9 µJy beam−1, respectively. Similar to several other high-redshift galaxies, z7_GSD_3811 exhibits low [C ii] emission for its star formation rate compared to local galaxies. Furthermore, our upper limit on the [O iii] line luminosity is lower than the previously observed [O iii] lines in high-redshift galaxies with similar UV luminosities. Our ALMA band 6 and 8 dust continuum observations imply that z7_GSD_3811 likely has a low dust content, and our non-detections of the [O iii] and [C ii] lines could indicate that z7_GSD_3811 has a low metallicity (Z. 0.1 Z).

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA26
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 1


  • Dark ages
  • First stars
  • Galaxies: Evolution
  • Galaxies: High-Redshift
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Reionization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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