Publication of CRAL in Nature Astronomy on January 11, 2021.
Feedback-driven winds from star formation or active galactic nuclei might be a relevant channel for the abrupt quenching of star formation in massive galaxies. However, both observations and simulations support the idea that these processes are non-conflictingly co-evolving and self-regulating. Furthermore, evidence of disruptive events that are capable of fast quenching is rare, and constraints on their statistical prevalence are lacking. Here we present a massive starburst galaxy at redshift z = 1.4, which is ejecting 46 ± 13% of its molecular gas mass at a startling rate of ≳10,000 M⊙ yr−1. A broad component that is red-shifted from the galaxy emission is detected in four (low and high J) CO and [C I] transitions and in the ionized phase, which ensures a robust estimate of the expelled gas mass. The implied statistics suggest that similar events are potentially a major star-formation quenching channel. However, our observations provide compelling evidence that this is not a feedback-driven wind, but rather material from a merger that has been probably tidally ejected. This finding challenges some literature studies in which the role of feedback-driven winds might be overstated.
Source: A titanic interstellar medium ejection from a massive starburst galaxy at redshift 1.4. Annagrazia Puglisi, Emanuele Daddi, Marcella Brusa, Frederic Bournaud, Jeremy Fensch, Daizhong Liu, Ivan Delvecchio, Antonello Calabrò, Chiara Circosta, Francesco Valentino, Michele Perna, Shuowen Jin, Andrea Enia, Chiara Mancini & Giulia Rodighiero. Nature Astronomy, January 11, 2021.