Discovery of Protoclusters at z∼3.7 and 4.9: Embedded in Primordial Superclusters

Jun Toshikawa, Matthew A. Malkan, Nobunari Kashikawa, Roderik Overzier, Hisakazu Uchiyama, Kazuaki Ota, Shogo Ishikawa, Kei Ito

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We have carried out follow-up spectroscopy on three overdense regions of g- and r-dropout galaxies in the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Deep Fields, finding two new protoclusters at z = 4.898 and 3.721 and a possible protocluster at z = 3.834. The z = 3.721 protocluster overlaps with a previously identified protocluster at z = 3.675. The redshift separation between these two protoclusters is Δz = 0.05, which is slightly larger than the size of typical protoclusters. Therefore, if they are not the progenitors of a >1015 M☉ halo, they would grow into closely located independent halos like a supercluster. The other protocluster at z = 4.898 is also surrounded by smaller galaxy groups. These systems including protoclusters and neighboring groups are regarded as the early phase of superclusters. We quantify the spatial distribution of member galaxies of the protoclusters at z = 3.675 and 3.721 by fitting triaxial ellipsoids, finding a tentative difference: one has a pancake-like shape, while the other is filamentary. This could indicate that these two protoclusters are in different stages of formation. We investigate the relation between redshift and the velocity dispersion of protoclusters, including other protoclusters from the literature, in order to compare their dynamical states. Although there is no significant systematic trend in the velocity dispersions of protoclusters with redshift, the distribution is skewed to higher velocity dispersion over the redshift range of z = 2–6. This could be interpreted as two phases of cluster formation, one dominated by the steady accretion of galaxies and the other by the merging between group-size halos, perhaps depending on the surrounding large-scale environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020


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