Probing the Mpc-scale environment of hyperluminous infrared galaxies at 2

F. Gao, L. Wang, A. F. Ramos Padilla, D. Clements, D. Farrah, T. Huang

Submitted on 7 September 2022


Protoclusters are important for studying how halo mass and stellar mass assemble in the early universe. Finding signposts of such over-dense regions is a popular method to identify protocluster candidates. Hyperluminous infrared galaxies (HLIRGs), are expected to reside in overdense regions with massive halos. We study the Mpc-scale environment of the largest HLIRG sample to date and investigate whether they predominantly live in overdense regions. We first explore the surface density of Herschel 250 μm sources around HLIRGs and compare with that around random positions. Then, we compare the spatial distribution of neighbours around HLIRGs with that around randomly selected galaxies using a deep IRAC-selected catalogue with good-quality photometric redshifts. We also use a redshift-matched quasar sample and submillimeter galaxy (SMG) sample to validate our method, as previous clustering studies have measured the host halo masses of these populations. Finally, we adopt a Friends of Friends (FOF) algorithm to seek (proto)clusters that host HLIRGs. We find that HLIRGs tend to have more bright star-forming neighbours (with 250 μm flux density >10 mJy) within 100\arcsec projected radius than a random galaxy at a 3.7σ significance. In our 3D analysis, we find relatively weak excess of IRAC-selected sources within 3 Mpc around HLIRGs compared with random galaxy neighbours, mainly influenced by photometric redshift uncertainty and survey depth. We find a more significant difference (at a 4.7σ significance) in the number of Low Frequency Array (LOFAR)-detected neighbours in the deepest EN1 field. HLIRGs at 3 < z < 4 show stronger excess compared to HLIRGs at 2 < z < 3, consistent with cosmic downsizing. Finally, we select and present a list of 30 most promising protocluster candidates for future follow-up observations.


Comment: 19 pages, 10 figures, accepted by A&A

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies