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Physical Constraints on the Extended Interstellar Medium of the z = 6.42 Quasar J1148+5251: [C II]158 μm, [N II]205 μm, and [O I]146 μm Observations

Abstract : We report new Northern Extended Millimeter Array observations of the [C II]158 μm, [N II]205 μm, and [O I]146 μm atomic fine structure lines (FSLs) and dust continuum emission of J1148+5251, a z = 6.42 quasar, which probe the physical properties of its interstellar medium (ISM). The radially averaged [C II]158 μm and dust continuum emission have similar extensions (up to $\theta ={2.51}_{-0.25}^{+0.46}\ \mathrm{arcsec}$ , corresponding to $r={9.8}_{-2.1}^{+3.3}\ \mathrm{kpc}$ , accounting for beam convolution), confirming that J1148+5251 is the quasar with the largest [C II]158 μm-emitting reservoir known at these epochs. Moreover, if the [C II]158 μm emission is examined only along its NE-SW axis, a significant excess (>5.8σ) of [C II]158 μm emission (with respect to the dust) is detected. The new wide-bandwidth observations enable us to accurately constrain the continuum emission, and do not statistically require the presence of broad [C II]158 μm line wings that were reported in previous studies. We also report the first detection of the [O I]146 μm and (tentatively) [N II]205 μm emission lines in J1148+5251. Using FSL ratios of the [C II]158 μm, [N II]205 μm, [O I]146 μm, and previously measured [C I]369 μm emission lines, we show that J1148+5251 has similar ISM conditions compared to lower-redshift (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies. CLOUDY modeling of the FSL ratios excludes X-ray-dominated regions and favors photodissociation regions as the origin of the FSL emission. We find that a high radiation field (103.5-4.5 G 0), a high gas density (n ≃ 103.5-4.5 cm-3), and an H I column density of 1023 cm-2 reproduce the observed FSL ratios well.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - 3:38:01 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 3:46:36 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 6:44:28 PM

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Romain A. Meyer, Fabian Walter, Claudia Cicone, Pierre Cox, Roberto Decarli, et al.. Physical Constraints on the Extended Interstellar Medium of the z = 6.42 Quasar J1148+5251: [C II]158 μm, [N II]205 μm, and [O I]146 μm Observations. The Astrophysical Journal, 2022, 927, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac4e94⟩. ⟨insu-03748292⟩

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