AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 20. Jets, Disks and Dust in AGN
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, International Ballroom South

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[20.07] Submillimeter Sources: Dusty Starbursts or Dusty AGNs?

A.R. Cooray (U. of Chicago), Z. Haiman (Fermilab Astrophysics Group)

Recent observations with the Submillimeter Common User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope have now produced catalogs of submm sources, identified as a new population of dusty star-forming galaxies at high redshifts. Here we study an alternative interpretation of the SCUBA data, identifying a fraction of the submm sources as dust-enshrouded active galactic nuclei (AGN). We study the spectral energy distribution (SED) of selected submm sources with adequate wavelength coverage from radio to UV, and compare them to theoretically modeled galaxy SEDs of both AGNs and starforming regions enshrouded by dust. We find that in roughly one third of the current submm population, far-infrared emission could be dominated by a central dusty AGN rather than dusty starformation activity. This fraction of AGNs is consistent with current observational results, including metal production at high redshifts. We also consider the number density evolution of submm sources and their physical nature using Monte Carlo realizations of the merging history of dark matter haloes. Using these merger histories, we study whether the starformation activity in submm galaxies could be triggered by mergers between gas rich haloes and whether a central AGN might be formed in such merger scenarios.

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