N. A. Grogin

Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (234)792.79 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The first quenched galaxies (z>2) are both the most massive, and most compact, suggesting a physical connection between high stellar density and efficient, rapid cessation of star-formation. We present rest-frame UV spectra of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z~3 selected to be candidate progenitors of the quenched galaxies at z~2, compared to other LBGs of similar mass and star-formation rate (non-candidates). We find that candidate progenitors have faster outflow velocities and higher equivalent widths of interstellar absorption lines, implying larger velocity spread among absorbing clouds. Candidates deviate from the relationship between equivalent widths of Lyman-alpha and interstellar absorption lines in that their Lyman-alpha emission remains strong despite high interstellar absorption, possibly indicating that the neutral HI fraction is patchy, such that Lyman-alpha photons can escape. We detect stronger CIV P-Cygni features (emission and absorption) and HeII emission in candidates, indicative of larger populations of metal-rich Wolf-Rayet stars compared to non-candidates. The faster outflows, broader spread of gas velocity, and Lyman-alpha properties of candidates are consistent with their ISM being subject to more energetic feedback than non-candidates. Together with their larger metallicity (implying more evolved star-formation activity) this leads us to propose, if speculatively, that they are likely to quench sooner than non-candidates, supporting the validity of selection criteria used to identify them as progenitors of z~2 passive galaxies. We propose that massive, compact galaxies undergo more rapid growth of their stellar mass content, perhaps because the gas accretion mechanisms are different, and quench sooner than normally-sized LBGs at these (early) epochs.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Spectroscopic + photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift range $0<z<3$. Separating early- and late-type galaxies on the basis of star-formation activity, we confirm that early-type galaxies are on average smaller than late-type galaxies at all redshifts, and find a significantly different rate of average size evolution at fixed galaxy mass, with fast evolution for the early-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-1.48}$, and moderate evolution for the late-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-0.75}$. The large sample size and dynamic range in both galaxy mass and redshift, in combination with the high fidelity of our measurements due to the extensive use of spectroscopic data, not only fortify previous results, but also enable us to probe beyond simple average galaxy size measurements. At all redshifts the slope of the size-mass relation is shallow, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.22}$, for late-type galaxies with stellar mass $>3\times 10^{9}~M_{\odot}$, and steep, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.75}$, for early-type galaxies with stellar mass $>2\times 10^{10}~M_{\odot}$. The intrinsic scatter is $\lesssim$0.2 dex for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric, but skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive ($\sim 10^{11}~M_{\odot}$), compact ($R_{\rm{eff}} < 2$kpc) early-type galaxies increases from $z=3$ to $z=1.5-2$ and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.
    04/2014; 788(1).
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    ABSTRACT: We present the discovery of two galaxy overdensities in the HST UDF: a proto-cluster, HUDFJ0332.4-2746.6 at $z = 1.84 \pm 0.01$, and a group, HUDFJ0332.5-2747.3 at $z =1.90 \pm 0.01$. The velocity dispersion of HUDFJ0332.4-2746.6 implies a mass of $M_{200}= (2.2 \pm 1.8) \times 10^{14} M_{\odot}$, consistent with the lack of extended X-ray emission. Neither overdensity shows evidence of a red sequence. About $50\%$ of their members show interactions and/or disturbed morphologies, which are a signature of merger remnants. Most of their morphologically classified ETGs have blue colors and show recent star-formation. These observations reveal for the first time large fractions of spectroscopically confirmed star-forming blue ETGs in proto-clusters at $z\approx 2$. These star-forming ETGs are most likely among the progenitors of the quiescent population in clusters at more recent epochs. Their mass-size relation is consistent with that of passive ETGs in clusters at $z\sim0.7-1.5$. If these galaxies are the progenitors of cluster ETGs at these lower redshifts, their size would evolve according to a similar mass-size relation. It is noteworthy that quiescent ETGs in clusters at $z=1.8-2$ also do not show any significant size evolution over this redshift range, contrary to field ETGs. The ETG fraction of our sample is $\lesssim 40\%$, compared to the typical quiescent ETG fraction of $\approx 80\%$ in cluster cores at $z< 1$. The fraction, masses and colors of the newly discovered ETGs imply that other cluster ETGs will be formed/accreted at later time.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the rest-frame UV wavelength dependence of the Petrosian-like half-light radius ($r_{50}$), and the concentration parameter for a sample of 198 star-forming galaxies at 0.5 < z < 1.5. We find a ~5% decrease in $r_{50}$ from 1500 \AA\ to 3000 \AA, with half-light radii at 3000 \AA\ ranging from 0.6 kpc to 6 kpc. We also find a decrease in concentration of ~0.07 (1.9 < $C_{3000}$ < 3.9). The lack of a strong relationship between $r_{50}$ and wavelength is consistent with a model in which clumpy star formation is distributed over length scales comparable to the galaxy's rest-frame optical light. While the wavelength dependence of $r_{50}$ is independent of size at all redshifts, concentration decreases more sharply in the far-UV (~1500 \AA) for large galaxies at z ~ 1. This decrease in concentration is caused by a flattening of the inner ~20% of the light profile in disk-like galaxies, indicating that the central regions have different UV colors than the rest of the galaxy. We interpret this as a bulge component with older stellar populations and/or more dust. The size-dependent decrease in concentration is less dramatic at z ~ 2, suggesting that bulges are less dusty, younger, and/or less massive than the rest of the galaxy at higher redshifts.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We derive physical properties of 10 submillimeter galaxies located in the CANDELS coverage of the GOODS-S field. The galaxies were first identified as submillimeter sources with the LABOCA bolometer and subsequently targeted for 870um continuum observation with ALMA. The high angular resolution of the ALMA imaging allows secure counterparts to be identified in the CANDELS multiband dataset. The CANDELS data provide deep photometric data from UV through near-infrared wavelengths. Using synthetic spectral energy distributions, we derive photometric redshifts, stellar masses, extinction, ages, and the star formation history. The redshift range is z=1.65-4.76, with two of the galaxies located at z>4. Two SMG counterparts have stellar masses 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than the rest. The remaining SMG counterparts have stellar masses around 1x10^11 Msun. The stellar population in the SMGs is typically older than the expected duration of the submillimeter phase, suggesting that the star formation history of submillimeter galaxies is more complex than a single burst. Non-parametric morphology indices suggest that the SMG counterparts are among the most asymmetric systems compared with galaxies of the same stellar mass and redshift. The HST images shows that 3 of the SMGs are associated with on-going mergers. The remaining counterparts are isolated. Estimating the dust and molecular gas mass from the submm fluxes, and comparing with our stellar masses shows that the molecular gas mass fraction of SMGs is ~28% and that the final stellar mass is likely to be (1-2)x10^11 Msun.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Exploiting the deep high-resolution imaging of all 5 CANDELS fields, and accurate redshift information provided by 3D-HST, we investigate the relation between structure and stellar populations for a mass-selected sample of 6764 galaxies above 10^10 Msun, spanning the redshift range 0.5 < z < 2.5. For the first time, we fit 2-dimensional models comprising a single Sersic fit and two-component (i.e., bulge + disk) decompositions not only to the H-band light distributions, but also to the stellar mass maps reconstructed from resolved stellar population modeling. We confirm that the increased bulge prominence among quiescent galaxies, as reported previously based on rest-optical observations, remains in place when considering the distributions of stellar mass. Moreover, we observe an increase of the typical Sersic index and bulge-to-total ratio (with median B/T reaching 40-50%) among star-forming galaxies above 10^11 Msun. Given that quenching for these most massive systems is likely to be imminent, our findings suggest that significant bulge growth precedes a departure from the star-forming main sequence. We demonstrate that the bulge mass (and ideally knowledge of the bulge and total mass) is a more reliable predictor of the star-forming versus quiescent state of a galaxy than the total stellar mass. The same trends are predicted by the state-of-the-art semi-analytic model by Somerville et al. In the latter, bulges and black holes grow hand in hand through merging and/or disk instabilities, and AGN-feedback shuts off star formation. Further observations will be required to pin down star formation quenching mechanisms, but our results imply they must be internal to the galaxies and closely associated with bulge growth.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) was a multi-cycle treasury program on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) that surveyed a total area of ~0.25 deg^2 with ~900 HST orbits spread across 5 fields over 3 years. Within these survey images we discovered 65 supernovae (SN) of all types, out to z~2.5. We classify ~24 of these as Type Ia SN (SN Ia) based on host galaxy redshifts and SN photometry (supplemented by grism spectroscopy of 6 SN). Here we present a measurement of the volumetric SN Ia rate as a function of redshift, reaching for the first time beyond z=2 and putting new constraints on SN Ia progenitor models. Our highest redshift bin includes detections of SN that exploded when the universe was only ~3 Gyr old and near the peak of the cosmic star formation history. This gives the CANDELS high redshift sample unique leverage for evaluating the fraction of SN Ia that explode promptly after formation (<500 Myr). Combining the CANDELS rates with all available SN Ia rate measurements in the literature we find that this prompt SNIa fraction is f=0.48 +0.08 -0.09 (stat) +0.04 -0.13 (syst), consistent with a delay time distribution that follows a simple t^{-1} power law for all times t>40 Myr. However, a mild tension is apparent between ground-based low-z surveys and space-based high-z surveys. When the rate measurements from HST surveys are examined in isolation, the rarity of SN Ia detections at z>1.5 hints that prompt progenitors in the early universe may in fact be relatively rare, accounting for as little as ~5% of all SN Ia explosions - though further analysis and larger samples will be needed to examine that suggestion.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The processes that trigger Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) remain poorly understood. While lower luminosity AGN may be triggered by minor disturbances to the host galaxy, stronger disturbances are likely required to trigger luminous AGN. Major wet mergers of galaxies are ideal environments for AGN triggering since they provide large gas supplies and galaxy scale torques. There is however little observational evidence for a strong connection between AGN and major mergers. We analyse the morphological properties of AGN host galaxies as a function of AGN and host galaxy luminosity and compare them to a carefully matched sample of control galaxies. AGN are X-ray selected in the redshift range 0.5 < z < 0.8 and have luminosities 41 < log(L_X [erg/s]) < 44.5. 'Fake AGN' are simulated in the control galaxies by adding point sources with the magnitude of the matched AGN. We find that AGN host and control galaxies have comparable assymetries, Sersic indices and ellipticities at restframe ~950nm. AGN host galaxies show neither higher average asymmetries nor higher fractions of very disturbed objects. There is no increase in the prevalence of merger signatures with AGN luminosity. At 95% confidence we find that major mergers are responsible for <6% of all AGN in our sample as well as <40% of the highest luminosity AGN log(L_X [erg/s]) ~ 43.5). Major mergers therefore either play only a very minor role in the triggering of AGN in the luminosity range studied or time delays are too long for merger features to remain visible.
    01/2014; 439(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Using Director's Discretionary observing time, HST is undertaking a revolutionary deep field observing program to peer deeper into the Universe than ever before. The Frontier Fields will combine the power of HST with the natural gravitational telescopes of high-magnification clusters of galaxies to produce the deepest observations of clusters and their lensed galaxies and the second-deepest observations of blank fields ever obtained. Up to six strong-lensing clusters (Abell 2744, MACSJ0416.1-2403, MACSJ0717.5+3745, MACSJ1149.5+2223, AbellS1063, and Abell 370) will be targeted with coordinated parallels of adjacent blank fields with ACS/WFC and WFC3/IR cameras to ~29th ABmag depths in seven bandpasses over the next three years. These observations will reveal distant galaxy populations ~10-100 times fainter than any previously observed, and improve our statistical understanding of galaxies during the epoch of reionization. Here we present Hubble Space Telescope observations of the first set of the Frontier Fields, Abell 2744, and describe the HST Frontier Fields observing strategy and schedule. All data for this observing program is nonproprietary and available immediately upon entry into the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes.
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    ABSTRACT: We have undertaken an ambitious program to visually classify all galaxies in the five CANDELS fields down to H<24.5 involving the dedicated efforts of 65 individual classifiers. Once completed, we expect to have detailed morphological classifications for over 50,000 galaxies up to z<4 over all the fields. Here, we present our detailed visual classification scheme, which was designed to cover a wide range of CANDELS science goals. This scheme includes the basic Hubble sequence types, but also includes a detailed look at mergers and interactions, the clumpiness of galaxies, $k$-corrections, and a variety of other structural properties. In this paper, we focus on the first field to be completed -- GOODS-S. The wide area coverage spanning the full field includes 7634 galaxies that have been classified by at least three different people. In the deep area of the field, 2534 galaxies have been classified by at least five different people at three different depths. With this paper, we release to the public all of the visual classifications in GOODS-S along with the GUI that we developed to classify galaxies. We find that the level of agreement among classifiers is good and depends on both the galaxy magnitude and the galaxy type, with disks showing the highest level of agreement and irregulars the lowest. A comparison of our classifications with the Sersic index and rest-frame colors shows a clear separation between disk and spheroid populations. Finally, we explore morphological k-corrections between the V-band and H-band observations and find that a small fraction (84 galaxies in total) are classified as being very different between these two bands. These galaxies typically have very clumpy and extended morphology or are very faint in the V-band.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate the power and usability of the DrizzlePac image processing tools developed at the Space Telescope Science Institute. These tools are available to the astronomical community, to align, distortion-correct, and combine stacks of images such as the Frontier Fields mosaics. Using 'cosmic-ray cleaned' images, we test various techniques for producing source catalogs to refine the image alignment. We present methodology for aligning images across visits, across filters, across detectors, and finally to an absolute reference catalog. The alignment solutions, or 'headerlet' files, will be made available to community as 'High Level Science Products' which may be applied to archival data in order to reduce the amount of work needed to re-process the Frontier Fields dataset. We also describe methodology for optimizing the drizzling 'pixfrac' (or drop size) of the final image for any given plate scale in order to provide the best signal-to-noise trade-off between pixel sampling and background noise.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first data release of the Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Fields program, a new Director's Discretionary program to carry out ultra-deep observations of six lensing clusters and parallel deep blank fields, probing the most distant galaxies currently observable. During the three-year program, each cluster is being observed for 140 orbits over two epochs, probing to 29th magnitude. We present here the first epoch of the cluster Abell 2744, observed to 70 orbits on the main cluster with WFC3/IR (in F105W, F125W, F140W and F160W) and on the parallel field with ACS (in F435W, F606W, F814W). We present the design of the pipeline for the data processing and calibration, including a new approach to ACS self-calibration. We discuss the various data products that we are distributing as high-level science products through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at STScI, including distortion-corrected "drizzled" mosaics in all the filters, released throughout the course of the observations, as well as the final full-depth mosaics and related products. We deliver these high-level science products to the community on a rapid timescale to enable the widest scientific use of these data, as well as ensuring a public legacy dataset of the highest possible quality that is of lasting value to the entire community.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a study investigating the rest-frame ultra-violet (UV) spectral slopes of redshift z~5 Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs). By combining deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the CANDELS and HUDF fields with ground-based imaging from the UKIDSS Ultra Deep Survey (UDS), we have produced a large sample of z~5 LBGs spanning an unprecedented factor of >100 in UV luminosity. Based on this sample we find a clear colour-magnitude relation (CMR) at z~5, such that the rest-frame UV slopes (beta) of brighter galaxies are notably redder than their fainter counterparts. Our determination of the z~5 CMR is well described by a linear relationship of the form: d beta = (-0.12 +/- 0.02) d Muv, with no clear evidence for a change in CMR slope at faint magnitudes (i.e. Muv > -18.9). Using the results of detailed simulations we are able, for the first time, to recover the intrinsic (i.e. free from noise) variation of galaxy colours around the CMR at z~5. We find significant (12 sigma) evidence for intrinsic colour variation in the sample as a whole. Our results also demonstrate that the width of the intrinsic UV slope distribution of z~5 galaxies increases from Delta(beta)=0.1 at Muv=-18 to Delta(beta)=0.4 at Muv=-21. We suggest that the increasing width of the intrinsic galaxy colour distribution and the CMR itself are both plausibly explained by a luminosity independent lower limit of beta=-2.1, combined with an increase in the fraction of red galaxies with increasing UV luminosity.
    12/2013; 440(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Of several dozen galaxies observed spectroscopically that are candidates for having a redshift (z) in excess of seven, only five have had their redshifts confirmed via Lyman α emission, at z = 7.008, 7.045, 7.109, 7.213 and 7.215 (refs 1-4). The small fraction of confirmed galaxies may indicate that the neutral fraction in the intergalactic medium rises quickly at z > 6.5, given that Lyman α is resonantly scattered by neutral gas. The small samples and limited depth of previous observations, however, makes these conclusions tentative. Here we report a deep near-infrared spectroscopic survey of 43 photometrically-selected galaxies with z > 6.5. We detect a near-infrared emission line from only a single galaxy, confirming that some process is making Lyman α difficult to detect. The detected emission line at a wavelength of 1.0343 micrometres is likely to be Lyman α emission, placing this galaxy at a redshift z = 7.51, an epoch 700 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy's colours are consistent with significant metal content, implying that galaxies become enriched rapidly. We calculate a surprisingly high star-formation rate of about 330 solar masses per year, which is more than a factor of 100 greater than that seen in the Milky Way. Such a galaxy is unexpected in a survey of our size, suggesting that the early Universe may harbour a larger number of intense sites of star formation than expected.
    Nature 10/2013; 502(7472):524-7. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spectroscopic observations from the Large Binocular Telescope and the Very Large Telescope reveal kinematically narrow lines (~50 km/s) for a sample of 14 Extreme Emission Line Galaxies (EELGs) at redshifts 1.4 < z < 2.3. These measurements imply that the total dynamical masses of these systems are low (< 3x10^9 M_sun). Their large [O III] 5007 equivalent widths (500-1100 Angstroms) and faint blue continuum emission imply young ages of 10-100 Myr and stellar masses of 10^8-10^9 M_sun, confirming the presence of a violent starburst. The dynamical masses represent the first such determinations for low-mass galaxies at z > 1. The stellar mass formed in this vigorous starburst phase represents a large fraction of the total (dynamical) mass, without a significantly massive underlying population of older stars. The occurrence of such intense events in shallow potentials strongly suggests that supernova-driven winds must be of critical importance in the subsequent evolution of these systems.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 778(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Out of several dozen z > 7 candidate galaxies observed spectroscopically, only five have been confirmed via Lyman-alpha emission, at z=7.008, 7.045, 7.109, 7.213 and 7.215. The small fraction of confirmed galaxies may indicate that the neutral fraction in the intergalactic medium (IGM) rises quickly at z > 6.5, as Lyman-alpha is resonantly scattered by neutral gas. However, the small samples and limited depth of previous observations makes these conclusions tentative. Here we report the results of a deep near-infrared spectroscopic survey of 43 z > 6.5 galaxies. We detect only a single galaxy, confirming that some process is making Lyman-alpha difficult to detect. The detected emission line at 1.0343 um is likely to be Lyman-alpha emission, placing this galaxy at a redshift z = 7.51, an epoch 700 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy's colors are consistent with significant metal content, implying that galaxies become enriched rapidly. We measure a surprisingly high star formation rate of 330 Msol/yr, more than a factor of 100 greater than seen in the Milky Way. Such a galaxy is unexpected in a survey of our size, suggesting that the early universe may harbor more intense sites of star-formation than expected.
    10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the resolved stellar populations of 473 massive star-forming galaxies at 0.7 < z < 1.5, with multi-wavelength broad-band imaging from CANDELS and Halpha surface brightness profiles at the same kiloparsec resolution from 3D-HST. Together, this unique data set sheds light on how the assembled stellar mass is distributed within galaxies, and where new stars are being formed. We find the Halpha morphologies to resemble more closely those observed in the ACS I band than in the WFC3 H band, especially for the larger systems. We next derive a novel prescription for Halpha dust corrections, which accounts for extra extinction towards HII regions. The prescription leads to consistent SFR estimates and reproduces the observed relation between the Halpha/UV luminosity ratio and visual extinction, both on a pixel-by-pixel and on a galaxy-integrated level. We find the surface density of star formation to correlate with the surface density of assembled stellar mass for spatially resolved regions within galaxies, akin to the so-called 'main sequence of star formation' established on a galaxy-integrated level. Deviations from this relation towards lower equivalent widths are found in the inner regions of galaxies. Clumps and spiral features, on the other hand, are associated with enhanced Halpha equivalent widths, bluer colors, and higher specific star formation rates compared to the underlying disk. Their Halpha/UV luminosity ratio is lower than that of the underlying disk, suggesting the ACS clump selection preferentially picks up those regions of elevated star formation activity that are the least obscured by dust. Our analysis emphasizes that monochromatic studies of galaxy structure can be severely limited by mass-to-light ratio variations due to dust and spatially inhomogeneous star formation histories.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 779(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use GOODS and CANDELS images to identify progenitors of massive (log M > 10 Msun) compact "early-type" galaxies (ETGs) at z~1.6. Since merging and accretion increase the size of the stellar component of galaxies, if the progenitors are among known star-forming galaxies, these must be compact themselves. We select candidate progenitors among compact Lyman-break galaxies at z~3 based on their mass, SFR and central stellar density and find that these account for a large fraction of, and possibly all, compact ETGs at z~1.6. We find that the average far-UV SED of the candidates is redder than that of the non-candidates, but the optical and mid-IR SED are the same, implying that the redder UV of the candidates is inconsistent with larger dust obscuration, and consistent with more evolved (aging) star-formation. This is in line with other evidence that compactness is a sensitive predictor of passivity among high-redshift massive galaxies. We also find that the light distribution of both the compact ETGs and their candidate progenitors does not show any extended "halos" surrounding the compact "core", both in individual images and in stacks. We argue that this is generally inconsistent with the morphology of merger remnants, even if gas-rich, as predicted by N-body simulations. This suggests that the compact ETGs formed via highly dissipative, mostly gaseous accretion of units whose stellar components are very small and undetected in the HST images, with their stellar mass assembling in-situ, and that they have not experienced any major merging until the epoch of observations at z~1.6.
    10/2013; 780(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Using spectroscopy from the Large Binocular Telescope and imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope we discovered the first strong galaxy lens at z(lens)>1. The lens has a secure photometric redshift of z=1.53+/-0.09 and the source is spectroscopically confirmed at z=3.417. The Einstein radius (0.35"; 3.0 kpc) encloses 7.6 x 10^10 Msol, with an upper limit on the dark matter fraction of 60%. The highly magnified (40x) source galaxy has a very small stellar mass (~10^8 Msol) and shows an extremely strong [OIII]_5007A emission line (EW_0 ~ 1000A) bolstering the evidence that intense starbursts among very low-mass galaxies are common at high redshift.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 777(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present results from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) photometric redshift methods investigation. In this investigation, the results from eleven participants, each using a different combination of photometric redshift code, template spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and priors, are used to examine the properties of photometric redshifts applied to deep fields with broad-band multi-wavelength coverage. The photometry used includes U-band through mid-infrared filters and was derived using the TFIT method. Comparing the results, we find that there is no particular code or set of template SEDs that results in significantly better photometric redshifts compared to others. However, we find codes producing the lowest scatter and outlier fraction utilize a training sample to optimize photometric redshifts by adding zero-point offsets, template adjusting or adding extra smoothing errors. These results therefore stress the importance of the training procedure. We find a strong dependence of the photometric redshift accuracy on the signal-to-noise ratio of the photometry. On the other hand, we find a weak dependence of the photometric redshift scatter with redshift and galaxy color. We find that most photometric redshift codes quote redshift errors (e.g., 68% confidence intervals) that are too small compared to that expected from the spectroscopic control sample. We find that all codes show a statistically significant bias in the photometric redshifts. However, the bias is in all cases smaller than the scatter, the latter therefore dominates the errors. Finally, we find that combining results from multiple codes significantly decreases the photometric redshift scatter and outlier fraction. We discuss different ways of combining data to produce accurate photometric redshifts and error estimates.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 775(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
792.79 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2014
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2013
    • Tianjin Normal University
      T’ien-ching-shih, Tianjin Shi, China
    • University of Texas at Austin
      Austin, Texas, United States
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      • Department Physics and Astronomy
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
    • University of Copenhagen
      • Dark Cosmology Centre (DARK)
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1999–2013
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Astronomy
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
    • University of Victoria
      Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • Arizona State University
      • School of Earth and Space Exploration
      Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 2003–2008
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2006
    • Stockholm University
      • Department of Physics
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2004
    • California Institute of Technology
      Pasadena, California, United States
    • Oak Ridge Associated Universities
      Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States