Polarized thermal emission from dust in a galaxy at red2 shift 2.6

Sérgio Sacani
Sérgio SacaniSupervisor de Geologia na Halliburton um Halliburton

Magnetic fields are fundamental to the evolution of galaxies, playing a key role in the astro15 physics of the interstellar medium (ISM) and star formation. Large-scale ordered magnetic (B) fields have been mapped in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies1, 2 16 , but it is not known how early in the Universe such structures form3 17 . Here we report the detection of linearly po18 larized thermal emission from dust grains in a strongly lensed, intrinsically luminous galaxy 19 that is forming stars at a rate more than a thousand times that of the Milky Way at redshift 2.6, within 2.5 Gyr of the Big Bang4, 5 20 . The polarized emission arises from the alignment of dust grains with the local magnetic field6, 7 21 . The median polarization fraction is of order one per cent, similar to nearby spiral galaxies8 22 . Our observations support the presence of a 23 5 kiloparsec-scale ordered B-field with a strength of around 500µG or lower, orientated par24 allel to the molecular gas disc. This confirms that such structures can be rapidly formed in 25 galaxies, early in cosmic history.

Polarized thermal emission from dust in a galaxy at red-
1
shift 2.6
2
J. E. Geach1
, E. Lopez-Rodriguez2
, M. J. Doherty1
, Jianhang Chen3
, R. J. Ivison3
, G. J. Bendo4
,
3
S. Dye5
, K. E. K. Coppin1
4
1
Centre for Astrophysics Research, School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science, Uni-
5
versity of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
6
2
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology (KIPAC), Stanford University, Stanford,
7
CA 94305, USA
8
3
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching, Germany
9
4
UK ALMA Regional Centre Node, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Department of Physics
10
and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
11
5
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham
12
NG7 2RD, UK
13
Magnetic fields are fundamental to the evolution of galaxies, playing a key role in the astro-
14
physics of the interstellar medium (ISM) and star formation. Large-scale ordered magnetic
15
(B) fields have been mapped in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies1,2
, but it is not known
16
how early in the Universe such structures form3
. Here we report the detection of linearly po-
17
larized thermal emission from dust grains in a strongly lensed, intrinsically luminous galaxy
18
that is forming stars at a rate more than a thousand times that of the Milky Way at redshift
19
2.6, within 2.5 Gyr of the Big Bang4,5
. The polarized emission arises from the alignment
20
of dust grains with the local magnetic field6,7
. The median polarization fraction is of order
21
one per cent, similar to nearby spiral galaxies8
. Our observations support the presence of a
22
5 kiloparsec-scale ordered B-field with a strength of around 500µG or lower, orientated par-
23
allel to the molecular gas disc. This confirms that such structures can be rapidly formed in
24
galaxies, early in cosmic history.
25
We observed the lensed galaxy 9io94
with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Ar-
26
ray (ALMA) at a representative frequency of 242 GHz (equivalent to a wavelength of approxi-
27
mately 350 µm in the rest-frame of the galaxy) to record the dust continuum emission averaged
28
over a total bandwidth of 7.5 GHz. The set of XX, YY, XY and YX linear polarization parame-
29
ters recorded in full polarization mode allow measurement of the Stokes parameters Q and U,
30
yielding the total linearly polarized intensity, PI =
p
Q2 + U2, and position angle (PA) of po-
31
larized emission χ = 0.5 arctan (U/Q). The root mean squared sensitivity of the observations
32
is σI = 47 µJy beam−1
and σQ ∼ σU = 9 µJy beam−1
. In Figure 1 we present image plane
33
maps of the total intensity I, Stokes Q and U, and polarized intensity PI. The polarization an-
34
gle χ is rotated by 90 degrees to show the plane-of-the-sky B-field orientation (χB). We mea-
35
1
sure an image plane integrated flux density of I = 62 mJy, integrated polarization fraction of
36
P = 0.6 ± 0.1%, where P = PI/I, and B-field orientation of χB = (−0.7 ± 1.4) degrees. The
37
mean of the distribution of polarization fractions and B-field orientations is ⟨P⟩ = 0.6 ± 0.3%
38
and ⟨χB⟩ = (0.8 ± 18.3) degrees, respectively. Note that the uncertainties are the dispersion of
39
the distribution of individual measurements within the galaxy, not the accuracy in the polarization
40
measurement (Methods).
41
Using the lens model derived from previous high-resolution millimetre continuum emission
42
and optical Hubble Space Telescope imaging, the source plane CO(4–3) emission, tracing the
43
cold molecular gas reservoir, has been shown to be well-modelled by a rotating disc of maximum
44
radius 2.6 kpc, inclined by approximately 50 degrees to the line of sight, with a position angle
45
(PA) on the sky of approximately 5 degrees East of North4,5
. With this model as a constraint, we
46
explore what source plane B-field configurations are consistent with the image plane polarization
47
observations. The most likely source plane configuration is a large-scale ordered B-field orientated
48
χB = 5+5
−10 degrees east of north with an extent matching that of the CO emission (Figure 2). This
49
result implies the presence of a 5 kpc-scale galactic ordered magnetic field orientated parallel to
50
the molecular gas-rich disc. Angular variations of χB across the galaxy present in the image plane
51
maps, corresponding to scales of 600 pc in the source plane, can be explained by the low signal-
52
to-noise ratio and beam effects (Methods). This result implies that the introduction of a random
53
B-field component with an angular variation of ±5 degrees in addition to the large-scale ordered B-
54
field is also consistent with the observations. We currently lack the sensitivity and resolution to map
55
the configuration of the B-field strength at scales ∼100 pc where structure related to turbulence can
56
start to be resolved. The observed B-field configuration parallel to the disc is consistent with the
57
galactic B fields measured in local spiral galaxies observed at far-infrared and radio wavelengths1,2
.
58
Note that our far-infrared polarimetric observations trace a density-weighted average B-field in the
59
cold and dense ISM, rather than a volume average B-field in the warm and diffuse ISM by radio
60
polarimetric observations.
61
The mean and integrated polarization fractions of 9io9 are consistent with the P ∼ 0.8%
62
level measured in nearby spiral and starburst galaxies at wavelengths of 53–214 µm2
. The ob-
63
servations presented here are sensitive to polarized emission beyond this range, pushing into the
64
Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the thermal emission spectrum at λrest = 350 µm. In recent models of diffuse
65
interstellar dust, the polarization fraction, P, is independent of wavelength across 200–2000µm,
66
consistent with observations of Galactic dust emission?
. Observations of local starburst galaxies
67
show that P only varies by 0.4 per cent over the 50–150 µm range, with an increase of up to ∼1
68
per cent towards 214 µm2
. We therefore conclude that 9io9 has a polarization level similar to lo-
69
cal star-forming discs and starburst galaxies, with a key difference being the order-of-magnitude
70
difference in gas mass and star-formation rate, with the disc of 9io9 being close to molecular gas
71
2
dominated, contrasted with the fgas ≈ 10 per cent gas fractions of local star-forming discs9
.
72
The large-scale ordered magnetic fields that exist in massive disc galaxies in the local Uni-
73
verse is thought to arise through the amplification of seed fields, and this has been predicted
74
to occur on relatively short cosmological timescales, of order 1 Gyr10–12
. Weak seed fields (as
75
low as B ∼ 10−20
G) could be formed in protogalaxies either through trapping of a cosmolog-
76
ical field, possibly primordial in nature, or through the battery effect following the onset of star
77
formation13–16
. Although turbulent gas motions in discs can reduce net polarization if they im-
78
part a strong turbulent component to the B-field17
, recent theoretical models of the formation of
79
galactic-scale magnetic fields invoke turbulence in the ISM as the origin of a ‘small-scale’ dy-
80
namo that can rapidly amplify the weak seed fields to µG levels12,18,19
. This small-scale dynamo is
81
mainly driven by supernova explosions with coherence lengths of order 50–100 pc, but turbulence
82
can be injected into the ISM on multiple scales through disc instabilities and feedback effects, in-
83
cluding stellar winds and outflows driven by radiation pressure, supernova explosions, and large
84
scale outflows from an active galactic nucleus.
85
The average turbulent velocity component of the disc of 9io9, determined from kinematic
86
modelling of the CO emission, is σv ≈ 70 km s−1
and the star-formation rate density exceeds
87
100 M⊙ yr−1
kpc25
. The high dense gas fraction of the molecular reservoir – as traced by the ra-
88
tio of CO(4–3)/C I(1–0) emission – is also consistent with the injection of supersonic turbulence,
89
which plays a key role in shaping the lognormal probability distribution function of the molecular
90
gas density20
. There is also tentative evidence of stellar feedback in action through the broad lines
91
of dense gas tracers5
. Finally, one expects a high cosmic ray flux density in the ISM of 9io9, com-
92
mensurate with the high star-formation rate density, and this too could serve to amplify magnetic
93
fields. Therefore, 9io9 likely has the conditions required to rapidly amplify any weak seed fields via
94
the small-scale dynamo effect, with amplification occurring on scales up to and including the full
95
star-forming disc. Assuming equipartition between the turbulent kinetic and magnetic energies, we
96
estimate an upper-limit of the equipartition turbulent B-field strength of 514 µG (Methods). This is
97
comparable to the estimated turbulent B-field strength of 305±15 µG within the central kiloparsec
98
of the starburst region of M82 also using FIR polarimetric observations21
. This indicates that the
99
starburst activity of 9io9 could be be driving the amplification of B-fields across the disc.
100
Feedback-induced turbulence is a route to accelerating the growth of the seed fields, but
101
to produce the ordered field on the kpc-scales observed requires a mean-field dynamo14,22
. This
102
mean-field dynamo can be achieved through the rapid differential rotation of the gas disc, and
103
this provides a mechanism for the ordering of an amplified B-field driven by star formation and
104
stellar feedback processes. 9io9 is turbulent, intensely star-forming and rapidly rotating (vmax ≈
105
300 km s−1
). This suggests that rather than an episode of violent feedback priming a large-scale but
106
3
turbulent field that later evolves into an ordered field during a period of relative quiescence19
, the
107
small-scale and mean-field dynamo mechanisms operate in tandem. We estimate that the mean-
108
field dynamo in 9io9 has not yet had time yto maintain or amplify the B-field (Methods). This
109
implies that the intense starburst is most important in amplifying the galactic field at z = 2.6.
110
We postulate that this ‘dual dynamo’ might be the common mode by which galactic-scale ordered
111
magnetic fields are established in young gas-rich, turbulent galaxies in the early Universe.
112
Coherent magnetic fields consistent with the mean-field dynamo have been observed at z =
113
0.4 via Faraday rotation of a background polarized radio source3
(note that such observations are
114
not possible for 9io9). Magnetic fields are already known to be present in the environment around
115
normal galaxies at z ≈ 1 as revealed by the association of Mg II absorption systems along quasar
116
sightlines that exhibit Faraday rotation23
, and indirectly through the existence of radio synchrotron
117
emission from star-forming galaxies. However, mapping the B-fields in individual galaxies at high
118
redshift has so-far proven challenging. Our observations show that the polarized emission from
119
magnetically aligned dust grains is a powerful tool to trace the B-fields of the cold and dense ISM
120
in high redshift galaxies.
121
9io9 is a particularly luminous example of a population of dusty star-forming galaxies in the
122
early Universe that contribute a significant portion of the cosmic infrared background (CIB). If
123
the one per cent level of polarization detected in 9io9 is representative of the general population
124
of dusty star-forming galaxies24
then routine detection and mapping of magnetic fields in galaxies
125
at high redshift is feasible (i.e., in integration times of less than 24 hr) even in unlensed systems
126
with ALMA. This offers a new window to characterise the physical conditions of the ISM in
127
galaxies when galaxy growth was at its maximum, and will enable a better understanding the role
128
of magnetic fields in shaping the early stages of galaxy evolution. The strength of the galactic
129
magnetic field in local spiral galaxies is of order 10 µG1
, and up to an order of magnitude higher in
130
starbursts8
. Without resolving the polarization field in 9io9 below 100 pc scales it is not possible to
131
reliably estimate the B-field strength using dust polarization observations. Nevertheless, given the
132
injection of kinetic turbulence driven by stellar feedback we estimate the strength of the B-field in
133
9io9 to be likely greater than that of local spiral galaxies, but similar to that of the central regions
134
of nearby starburst galaxies (Methods).
135
Finally, these observations imply the CIB itself may be weakly polarized24,25
. Although mis-
136
alignments of galaxies along the line of sight will serve to reduce the net polarization of the CIB,
137
if the orientation of discs that host large scale ordered B-fields is correlated on large scales due to
138
tidal alignments26
, then a polarization signal could remain, and therefore fluctuations in the polar-
139
ization intensity of the CIB could be used as a new probe of the physics of structure formation25
.
140
This has consequences for cosmological experiments that seek to derive information on primordial
141
4
conditions from observations of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), es-
142
pecially if a curl component is present in the CIB polarization field25,27
. A polarized component
143
of the CIB at millimeter wavelengths, of extragalactic origin and dominated by emission at z ≈ 2
144
and with a power spectrum that is driven by large scale structure at this epoch, will be a subtle but
145
important foreground for future precision CMB experiments to contend with.
146
Acknowledgements This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#021.1.01461.S.
147
ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together
148
with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the
149
Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. J.E.G. and
150
M.D. acknowledge support from the Royal Society.
151
Author Contributions JEG led the proposal to obtain the data and designed the observations; JEG and
152
GJB reduced the data; JEG and ELR performed the analysis and all authors contributed to the manuscript.
153
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7
Figure 1: The magnetic field orientation of the gravitationally lensed galaxy 9io9 at z=2.553.
(a-d), ALMA 242 GHz polarimetric observations of the Stokes I, Q, and U parameters, and the
polarized intensity PI. The synthetic beam of the observations (1.2′′
× 0.9′′
, θ = 68 degrees) is
shown as the red ellipse, lower left. The B-field orientation is indicated by white lines displayed at
the Nyquist sampling, with line lengths proportional to the polarization fraction. (e-h), Synthetic
polarimetric observations using a constant B-field configuration in the source plane. Contours
indicate signal-to-noise: for Stokes I, the contours increase as σI × 23,4,5,...
. For Stokes Q and U,
and PI, the contours start at 3σ and increase in steps of 1σ.
Figure 2: Source plane configuration of the magnetic field and lensing model. (a) Source
plane intensity and field orientation. (b) Lensed source plane image. (c) Synthetic observations
with the synthetic beam size (1.2′′
× 0.9′′
, θ = 68 degrees) indicated by the red ellipse. The B-
field orientation is indicated by white lines with lengths proportional to the polarization fraction.
The median and root mean squared values of the polarization fraction and B-field orientation are
indicated top right. The caustics in the source plane and image plane are shown as green and
yellow lines respectively.
8

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  • 1. Polarized thermal emission from dust in a galaxy at red- 1 shift 2.6 2 J. E. Geach1 , E. Lopez-Rodriguez2 , M. J. Doherty1 , Jianhang Chen3 , R. J. Ivison3 , G. J. Bendo4 , 3 S. Dye5 , K. E. K. Coppin1 4 1 Centre for Astrophysics Research, School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science, Uni- 5 versity of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK 6 2 Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics & Cosmology (KIPAC), Stanford University, Stanford, 7 CA 94305, USA 8 3 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching, Germany 9 4 UK ALMA Regional Centre Node, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Department of Physics 10 and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK 11 5 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham 12 NG7 2RD, UK 13 Magnetic fields are fundamental to the evolution of galaxies, playing a key role in the astro- 14 physics of the interstellar medium (ISM) and star formation. Large-scale ordered magnetic 15 (B) fields have been mapped in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies1,2 , but it is not known 16 how early in the Universe such structures form3 . Here we report the detection of linearly po- 17 larized thermal emission from dust grains in a strongly lensed, intrinsically luminous galaxy 18 that is forming stars at a rate more than a thousand times that of the Milky Way at redshift 19 2.6, within 2.5 Gyr of the Big Bang4,5 . The polarized emission arises from the alignment 20 of dust grains with the local magnetic field6,7 . The median polarization fraction is of order 21 one per cent, similar to nearby spiral galaxies8 . Our observations support the presence of a 22 5 kiloparsec-scale ordered B-field with a strength of around 500µG or lower, orientated par- 23 allel to the molecular gas disc. This confirms that such structures can be rapidly formed in 24 galaxies, early in cosmic history. 25 We observed the lensed galaxy 9io94 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Ar- 26 ray (ALMA) at a representative frequency of 242 GHz (equivalent to a wavelength of approxi- 27 mately 350 µm in the rest-frame of the galaxy) to record the dust continuum emission averaged 28 over a total bandwidth of 7.5 GHz. The set of XX, YY, XY and YX linear polarization parame- 29 ters recorded in full polarization mode allow measurement of the Stokes parameters Q and U, 30 yielding the total linearly polarized intensity, PI = p Q2 + U2, and position angle (PA) of po- 31 larized emission χ = 0.5 arctan (U/Q). The root mean squared sensitivity of the observations 32 is σI = 47 µJy beam−1 and σQ ∼ σU = 9 µJy beam−1 . In Figure 1 we present image plane 33 maps of the total intensity I, Stokes Q and U, and polarized intensity PI. The polarization an- 34 gle χ is rotated by 90 degrees to show the plane-of-the-sky B-field orientation (χB). We mea- 35 1
  • 2. sure an image plane integrated flux density of I = 62 mJy, integrated polarization fraction of 36 P = 0.6 ± 0.1%, where P = PI/I, and B-field orientation of χB = (−0.7 ± 1.4) degrees. The 37 mean of the distribution of polarization fractions and B-field orientations is ⟨P⟩ = 0.6 ± 0.3% 38 and ⟨χB⟩ = (0.8 ± 18.3) degrees, respectively. Note that the uncertainties are the dispersion of 39 the distribution of individual measurements within the galaxy, not the accuracy in the polarization 40 measurement (Methods). 41 Using the lens model derived from previous high-resolution millimetre continuum emission 42 and optical Hubble Space Telescope imaging, the source plane CO(4–3) emission, tracing the 43 cold molecular gas reservoir, has been shown to be well-modelled by a rotating disc of maximum 44 radius 2.6 kpc, inclined by approximately 50 degrees to the line of sight, with a position angle 45 (PA) on the sky of approximately 5 degrees East of North4,5 . With this model as a constraint, we 46 explore what source plane B-field configurations are consistent with the image plane polarization 47 observations. The most likely source plane configuration is a large-scale ordered B-field orientated 48 χB = 5+5 −10 degrees east of north with an extent matching that of the CO emission (Figure 2). This 49 result implies the presence of a 5 kpc-scale galactic ordered magnetic field orientated parallel to 50 the molecular gas-rich disc. Angular variations of χB across the galaxy present in the image plane 51 maps, corresponding to scales of 600 pc in the source plane, can be explained by the low signal- 52 to-noise ratio and beam effects (Methods). This result implies that the introduction of a random 53 B-field component with an angular variation of ±5 degrees in addition to the large-scale ordered B- 54 field is also consistent with the observations. We currently lack the sensitivity and resolution to map 55 the configuration of the B-field strength at scales ∼100 pc where structure related to turbulence can 56 start to be resolved. The observed B-field configuration parallel to the disc is consistent with the 57 galactic B fields measured in local spiral galaxies observed at far-infrared and radio wavelengths1,2 . 58 Note that our far-infrared polarimetric observations trace a density-weighted average B-field in the 59 cold and dense ISM, rather than a volume average B-field in the warm and diffuse ISM by radio 60 polarimetric observations. 61 The mean and integrated polarization fractions of 9io9 are consistent with the P ∼ 0.8% 62 level measured in nearby spiral and starburst galaxies at wavelengths of 53–214 µm2 . The ob- 63 servations presented here are sensitive to polarized emission beyond this range, pushing into the 64 Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the thermal emission spectrum at λrest = 350 µm. In recent models of diffuse 65 interstellar dust, the polarization fraction, P, is independent of wavelength across 200–2000µm, 66 consistent with observations of Galactic dust emission? . Observations of local starburst galaxies 67 show that P only varies by 0.4 per cent over the 50–150 µm range, with an increase of up to ∼1 68 per cent towards 214 µm2 . We therefore conclude that 9io9 has a polarization level similar to lo- 69 cal star-forming discs and starburst galaxies, with a key difference being the order-of-magnitude 70 difference in gas mass and star-formation rate, with the disc of 9io9 being close to molecular gas 71 2
  • 3. dominated, contrasted with the fgas ≈ 10 per cent gas fractions of local star-forming discs9 . 72 The large-scale ordered magnetic fields that exist in massive disc galaxies in the local Uni- 73 verse is thought to arise through the amplification of seed fields, and this has been predicted 74 to occur on relatively short cosmological timescales, of order 1 Gyr10–12 . Weak seed fields (as 75 low as B ∼ 10−20 G) could be formed in protogalaxies either through trapping of a cosmolog- 76 ical field, possibly primordial in nature, or through the battery effect following the onset of star 77 formation13–16 . Although turbulent gas motions in discs can reduce net polarization if they im- 78 part a strong turbulent component to the B-field17 , recent theoretical models of the formation of 79 galactic-scale magnetic fields invoke turbulence in the ISM as the origin of a ‘small-scale’ dy- 80 namo that can rapidly amplify the weak seed fields to µG levels12,18,19 . This small-scale dynamo is 81 mainly driven by supernova explosions with coherence lengths of order 50–100 pc, but turbulence 82 can be injected into the ISM on multiple scales through disc instabilities and feedback effects, in- 83 cluding stellar winds and outflows driven by radiation pressure, supernova explosions, and large 84 scale outflows from an active galactic nucleus. 85 The average turbulent velocity component of the disc of 9io9, determined from kinematic 86 modelling of the CO emission, is σv ≈ 70 km s−1 and the star-formation rate density exceeds 87 100 M⊙ yr−1 kpc25 . The high dense gas fraction of the molecular reservoir – as traced by the ra- 88 tio of CO(4–3)/C I(1–0) emission – is also consistent with the injection of supersonic turbulence, 89 which plays a key role in shaping the lognormal probability distribution function of the molecular 90 gas density20 . There is also tentative evidence of stellar feedback in action through the broad lines 91 of dense gas tracers5 . Finally, one expects a high cosmic ray flux density in the ISM of 9io9, com- 92 mensurate with the high star-formation rate density, and this too could serve to amplify magnetic 93 fields. Therefore, 9io9 likely has the conditions required to rapidly amplify any weak seed fields via 94 the small-scale dynamo effect, with amplification occurring on scales up to and including the full 95 star-forming disc. Assuming equipartition between the turbulent kinetic and magnetic energies, we 96 estimate an upper-limit of the equipartition turbulent B-field strength of 514 µG (Methods). This is 97 comparable to the estimated turbulent B-field strength of 305±15 µG within the central kiloparsec 98 of the starburst region of M82 also using FIR polarimetric observations21 . This indicates that the 99 starburst activity of 9io9 could be be driving the amplification of B-fields across the disc. 100 Feedback-induced turbulence is a route to accelerating the growth of the seed fields, but 101 to produce the ordered field on the kpc-scales observed requires a mean-field dynamo14,22 . This 102 mean-field dynamo can be achieved through the rapid differential rotation of the gas disc, and 103 this provides a mechanism for the ordering of an amplified B-field driven by star formation and 104 stellar feedback processes. 9io9 is turbulent, intensely star-forming and rapidly rotating (vmax ≈ 105 300 km s−1 ). This suggests that rather than an episode of violent feedback priming a large-scale but 106 3
  • 4. turbulent field that later evolves into an ordered field during a period of relative quiescence19 , the 107 small-scale and mean-field dynamo mechanisms operate in tandem. We estimate that the mean- 108 field dynamo in 9io9 has not yet had time yto maintain or amplify the B-field (Methods). This 109 implies that the intense starburst is most important in amplifying the galactic field at z = 2.6. 110 We postulate that this ‘dual dynamo’ might be the common mode by which galactic-scale ordered 111 magnetic fields are established in young gas-rich, turbulent galaxies in the early Universe. 112 Coherent magnetic fields consistent with the mean-field dynamo have been observed at z = 113 0.4 via Faraday rotation of a background polarized radio source3 (note that such observations are 114 not possible for 9io9). Magnetic fields are already known to be present in the environment around 115 normal galaxies at z ≈ 1 as revealed by the association of Mg II absorption systems along quasar 116 sightlines that exhibit Faraday rotation23 , and indirectly through the existence of radio synchrotron 117 emission from star-forming galaxies. However, mapping the B-fields in individual galaxies at high 118 redshift has so-far proven challenging. Our observations show that the polarized emission from 119 magnetically aligned dust grains is a powerful tool to trace the B-fields of the cold and dense ISM 120 in high redshift galaxies. 121 9io9 is a particularly luminous example of a population of dusty star-forming galaxies in the 122 early Universe that contribute a significant portion of the cosmic infrared background (CIB). If 123 the one per cent level of polarization detected in 9io9 is representative of the general population 124 of dusty star-forming galaxies24 then routine detection and mapping of magnetic fields in galaxies 125 at high redshift is feasible (i.e., in integration times of less than 24 hr) even in unlensed systems 126 with ALMA. This offers a new window to characterise the physical conditions of the ISM in 127 galaxies when galaxy growth was at its maximum, and will enable a better understanding the role 128 of magnetic fields in shaping the early stages of galaxy evolution. The strength of the galactic 129 magnetic field in local spiral galaxies is of order 10 µG1 , and up to an order of magnitude higher in 130 starbursts8 . Without resolving the polarization field in 9io9 below 100 pc scales it is not possible to 131 reliably estimate the B-field strength using dust polarization observations. Nevertheless, given the 132 injection of kinetic turbulence driven by stellar feedback we estimate the strength of the B-field in 133 9io9 to be likely greater than that of local spiral galaxies, but similar to that of the central regions 134 of nearby starburst galaxies (Methods). 135 Finally, these observations imply the CIB itself may be weakly polarized24,25 . Although mis- 136 alignments of galaxies along the line of sight will serve to reduce the net polarization of the CIB, 137 if the orientation of discs that host large scale ordered B-fields is correlated on large scales due to 138 tidal alignments26 , then a polarization signal could remain, and therefore fluctuations in the polar- 139 ization intensity of the CIB could be used as a new probe of the physics of structure formation25 . 140 This has consequences for cosmological experiments that seek to derive information on primordial 141 4
  • 5. conditions from observations of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), es- 142 pecially if a curl component is present in the CIB polarization field25,27 . A polarized component 143 of the CIB at millimeter wavelengths, of extragalactic origin and dominated by emission at z ≈ 2 144 and with a power spectrum that is driven by large scale structure at this epoch, will be a subtle but 145 important foreground for future precision CMB experiments to contend with. 146 Acknowledgements This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#021.1.01461.S. 147 ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together 148 with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the 149 Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. J.E.G. and 150 M.D. acknowledge support from the Royal Society. 151 Author Contributions JEG led the proposal to obtain the data and designed the observations; JEG and 152 GJB reduced the data; JEG and ELR performed the analysis and all authors contributed to the manuscript. 153 154 1. Beck, R., Chamandy, L., Elson, E. & Blackman, E. G. Synthesizing Observations and Theory 155 to Understand Galactic Magnetic Fields: Progress and Challenges. Galaxies 8, 4 (2019). 156 2. Lopez-Rodriguez, E. et al. Extragalactic Magnetism with SOFIA (SALSA Legacy Program): 157 The Magnetic Fields in the Multiphase Interstellar Medium of the Antennae Galaxies. The 158 Astrophysical Journal Letters 942, L13 (2022). 159 3. Mao, S. A. et al. Detection of microgauss coherent magnetic fields in a galaxy five billion 160 years ago. Nature Astronomy 1, 621–626 (2017). 161 4. Geach, J. E. et al. The Red Radio Ring: a gravitationally lensed hyperluminous infrared radio 162 galaxy at z = 2.553 discovered through the citizen science project Space Warps. Monthly 163 Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 452, 502–510 (2015). 164 5. Geach, J. E., Ivison, R. J., Dye, S. & Oteo, I. A Magnified View of Circumnuclear Star 165 Formation and Feedback around an Active Galactic Nucleus at z = 2.6. Astrophys. J. Lett. 166 866, L12 (2018). 167 6. Hoang, T. & Lazarian, A. Radiative torque alignment: essential physical processes. Monthly 168 Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 388, 117–143 (2008). 169 7. Andersson, B.-G., Lazarian, A. & Vaillancourt, J. E. Interstellar dust grain alignment. Annual 170 Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 53, 501–539 (2015). 171 8. Lopez-Rodriguez, E. et al. Extragalactic Magnetism with SOFIA (SALSA Legacy Program). 172 IV. Program Overview and First Results on the Polarization Fraction. Astrophys. J. 936, 92 173 (2022). 174 5
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  • 8. Figure 1: The magnetic field orientation of the gravitationally lensed galaxy 9io9 at z=2.553. (a-d), ALMA 242 GHz polarimetric observations of the Stokes I, Q, and U parameters, and the polarized intensity PI. The synthetic beam of the observations (1.2′′ × 0.9′′ , θ = 68 degrees) is shown as the red ellipse, lower left. The B-field orientation is indicated by white lines displayed at the Nyquist sampling, with line lengths proportional to the polarization fraction. (e-h), Synthetic polarimetric observations using a constant B-field configuration in the source plane. Contours indicate signal-to-noise: for Stokes I, the contours increase as σI × 23,4,5,... . For Stokes Q and U, and PI, the contours start at 3σ and increase in steps of 1σ. Figure 2: Source plane configuration of the magnetic field and lensing model. (a) Source plane intensity and field orientation. (b) Lensed source plane image. (c) Synthetic observations with the synthetic beam size (1.2′′ × 0.9′′ , θ = 68 degrees) indicated by the red ellipse. The B- field orientation is indicated by white lines with lengths proportional to the polarization fraction. The median and root mean squared values of the polarization fraction and B-field orientation are indicated top right. The caustics in the source plane and image plane are shown as green and yellow lines respectively. 8