Massive starburst galaxies in a z = 2.16 proto-cluster unveiled: By panoramic Hα mapping

Yusei Koyama, Tadayuki Kodama, Ken Ichi Tadaki, Masao Hayashi, Masayuki Tanaka, Ian Smail, Ichi Tanaka, Jaron Kurk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


We present a panoramic narrow-band study of Hα emitters in the field of the z = 2.16 protocluster around PKS 1138-262 using MOIRCS on the Subaru Telescope. We find 83 Hα emitters down to a star formation rate of SFR (Hα) ~ 10 M( yr-1 across a ~7 × 7 arcmin2 region centred on the radio galaxy, and identify ~10-Mpc scale filaments of emitters running across this region. By examining the properties of Hα emitters within the large-scale structure, we find that galaxies in the higher density environments at z = 2.16 tend to have redder colours and higher stellar masses compared to galaxies in more underdense regions. We also find a population of Hα emitters with red colours [(J - Ks) ≥ 1], which are much more frequent in the denser environments and which have apparently very high stellar masses with M* ~ 1011M(, implying that these cluster galaxies have already formed a large part of their stellar mass before z ~ 2. Spitzer Space Telescope 24-μm data suggest that many of these red Hα emitters are bright, dusty starbursts (rather than quiescent sources). We also find that the proto-cluster galaxies follow the same correlation between SFR and M( (the 'main sequence') of z ~ 2 field star-forming galaxies, but with an excess of massive galaxies. These very massive star-forming galaxies are not seen in our similar, previous study of z ~ 1 clusters, suggesting that their star formation activity has been shut off at 1 ~ z ~ 2. We infer that the massive red (but active) galaxies in this rich proto-cluster are likely to be the products of environmental effects, and they represent the accelerated galaxy formation and evolution in a biased high-density region in the early Universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551-1564
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan


  • Galaxies: clusters: individual: PKS 1138-262
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Large-scale structure of Universe


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