The absence of [C II] 158μm emission in spectroscopically confirmed galaxies at z > 8

N. Laporte*, H. Katz, R. S. Ellis, G. Lagache, F. E. Bauer, F. Boone, A. K. Inoue, T. Hashimoto, H. Matsuo, K. Mawatari, Y. Tamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The scatter in the relationship between the strength of [C ii] 158 $mu$m emission and the star formation rate at high redshift has been the source of much recent interest. Although the relationship is well established locally, several intensely star-forming galaxies have been found whose [C ii] 158 $mu$m emission is either weak, absent, or spatially offset from the young stars. Here we present new ALMA data for the two most distant gravitationally lensed and spectroscopically confirmed galaxies, A2744-YD4 at z = 8.38 and MACS1149-JD1 at z = 9.11, both of which reveal intense [O iii] 88 $mu$m emission. In both cases we provide stringent upper limits on the presence of [C ii] 158 $mu$m with respect to [O iii] 88 $mu$m. We review possible explanations for this apparent redshift-dependent [C ii] deficit in the context of our recent hydrodynamical simulations. Our results highlight the importance of using several emission line diagnostics with ALMA to investigate the nature of the interstellar medium in early galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L81-L85
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1


  • early universe
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • submillimetre: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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