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Correlations between bright submillimetre sources and low-redshift galaxies
Almaini, O.; Dunlop, J. S.; Willott, C. J.; Alexander, D. M.; Bauer, F. E.; Liu, C. T.
AA(School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD), AB(Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ), AC(Herzberg Institute of Astronomy, 5071 West Saanich Rd, Victoria, BC, Canada), AD(Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA), AE(Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA), AF(Astrophysical Observatory, City University of New York/CSI, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314 USA)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 358, Issue 3, pp. 875-882. (MNRAS Homepage)
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(c) 2005 RAS
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We present evidence for a positive angular correlation between bright submillimetre (sub-mm) sources and low-redshift galaxies. The study was conducted using 39 sources selected from three contiguous, flux-limited SCUBA surveys, cross-correlated with optical field galaxies with magnitudes R < 23 (with a median redshift of z~= 0.5). We find that the angular distribution of sub-mm sources is skewed towards overdensities in the galaxy population, consistent with 25 +/- 12 per cent being associated with dense, low-redshift structure. The signal appears to be dominated by the brightest sources with a flux density S850μm > 10 mJy. We conduct Monte Carlo simulations of clustered sub-mm populations, and find that the probability of obtaining these correlations by chance is less than 0.4 per cent. The results may suggest that a larger than expected fraction of sub-mm sources lies at z~= 0.5. Alternatively, we argue that this signal is most likely caused by gravitational lensing bias, which may be entirely expected given the steep sub-mm source counts. Implications for future sub-mm surveys are discussed.
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