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Title: A titanic interstellar medium ejection from a massive starburst galaxy at redshift 1.4
Authors: Puglisi, A.
Daddi, E.
Brusa, M.
Bournaud, F.
Fensch, J.
Liu, D.
Delvecchio, I.
Calabrò, A.
Circosta, C.
Valentino, F.
Perna, M.
Jin, S.
Enia, A.
Mancini, C.
Rodighiero, G.
Keywords: Galaxies and clusters;Interstellar medium
Issue Date: 11-Jan-2021
Publisher: Nature Research Journals
DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-01268-x
Citation: Nature Astronomy 5: 319-330(2021)
Abstract: 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.
Description: The ALMA data analysed in this study are publicly available from the ALMA archive (, Program IDs: 2015.1.00260.S, 2016.1.00171.S and 2019.1.01702.S). The DEIMOS spectrum of the source is also publicly available and can be retrieved through the COSMOS archive (
E-ISSN: 2397-3366
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