AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 97 Gas and Dust in Galaxies and the IGM
Oral, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Centennial IV

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[97.05] An Upper Limit on the Molecular Gas Content of Westphal-MMD11

A. J. Baker, L. J. Tacconi, R. Genzel, D. Lutz, M. D. Lehnert (MPE Garching)

We have used the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer to establish a sensitive upper limit on CO(3-2) emission from the z = 2.98 Lyman break galaxy Westphal-MMD11. The apparent paucity of molecular gas in this system is surprising in light of its relatively strong dust emission. We consider the likeliest explanation to be that Westphal-MMD11 is approaching the end of a burst of star formation initially triggered by a major merger. This scenario is reinforced by a comparison with the z = 2.73 (lensed) Lyman break galaxy MS1512-cB58, whose measured CO(3-2) line flux implies we are observing it in the middle of a longer-duration episode of more quiescent star formation.

Operations at IRAM are funded by the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France), the MPG (Max Planck Gesellschaft, Germany), and the IGN (Instituto Geografico Nacional, Spain).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.