An ALMA survey of the S2CLS UDS field: Optically invisible submillimetre galaxies

Ian Smail, U. Dudzevičiūtė, S. M. Stach, O. Almaini, J. E. Birkin, S. C. Chapman, Chian-Chou Chen, J. E. Geach, B. Gullberg, J. A. Hodge, S. Ikarashi, R. J. Ivison, D. Scott, Chris Simpson, A. M. Swinbank, A. P. Thomson, F. Walter, J. L. Wardlow, P. van der Werf

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We analyse a robust sample of 30 near-infrared-faint (K>25.3, 5 sigma) submillimetre galaxies selected across a 0.96 deg^2 field, to investigate their properties and the cause of their lack of detectable optical/near-infrared emission. Our analysis exploits precise identifications based on ALMA 870um continuum imaging, combined with the very deep near-infrared imaging from the UKIDSS-UDS survey. We estimate that K>25.3 submillimetre galaxies represent 15+/-2 per cent of the total population brighter than S870=3.6mJy, with an expected surface density of ~450/deg^2 above S870>1mJy. As such they pose a source of contamination in surveys for both high-redshift "quiescent" galaxies and very-high-redshift Lyman-break galaxies. We show that these K-faint submillimetre galaxies are simply the tail of the broader submillimetre population, with comparable dust and stellar masses to K
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3426-3435
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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