The dust mass in z > 6 normal star-forming galaxies.

M. Mancini, R. Schneider, L. Graziani, R. Valiante, P. Dayal, U. Maio, B. Ciardi, L. K. Hunt

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We interpret recent ALMA observations of z > 6 normal star-forming galaxies by means of a seminumerical method, which couples the output of a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation with a chemical evolution model which accounts for the contribution to dust enrichment from supernovae, asymptotic giant branch stars and grain growth in the interstellar medium. We find that while stellar sources dominate the dust mass of small galaxies, the higher level of metal enrichment experienced by galaxies with Mstar > 109 M allows efficient grain growth, which provides the dominant contribution to the dust mass. Even assuming maximally efficient supernova dust production, the observed dust mass of the z = 7.5 galaxy A1689-zD1 requires very efficient grain growth. This, in turn, implies that in this galaxy the average density of the cold and dense gas, where grain growth occurs, is comparable to that inferred from observations of quasar (QSO) host galaxies at similar redshifts. Although plausible, the upper limits on the dust continuum emission of galaxies at 6.5 < z < 7.5 show that these conditions must not apply to the bulk of the high-redshift galaxy population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L70-L74
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 21-Jul-2015
Externally publishedYes


  • dust
  • extinction
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: ISM
  • submillimetre: galaxies
  • Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies

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