Bianca M. Poggianti

Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, West Virginia, United States

Are you Bianca M. Poggianti?

Claim your profile

Publications (174)587.58 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a comparison between the observed galaxy stellar mass function and the one predicted from the De Lucia & Blaizot (2007) semi-analytic model applied to the Millennium Simulation, for cluster satellites and galaxies in the field (meant as a wide portion of the sky, including all environments), in the local universe (z~0.06) and at intermediate redshift (z~0.6), with the aim to shed light on the processes which regulate the mass distribution in different environments. While the mass functions in the field and in its finer environments (groups, binary and single systems) are well matched in the local universe down to the completeness limit of the observational sample, the model over-predicts the number of low mass galaxies in the field at z~0.6 and in clusters at both redshifts. Above M_*=10^10.25 M_sun, it reproduces the observed similarity of the cluster and field mass functions, but not the observed evolution. Our results point out two shortcomings of the model: an incorrect treatment of cluster-specific environmental effects and an over-efficient galaxy formation at early times (as already found by e.g. Weinmann et al. 2012). Next, we consider only simulations. Using also the Guo et al. (2011) model, we find that the high mass end of the mass functions depends on halo mass: only very massive halos host massive galaxies, with the result that their mass function is flatter. Above M_*=10^9.4 M_sun, simulations show an evolution in the number of the most massive galaxies in all the environments. Mass functions obtained from the two prescriptions are different, however results are qualitatively similar, indicating that the adopted recipes to model the evolution of central and satellite galaxies still have to be better implemented in semi-analytic models.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 788(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Javalambre-Physics of the Accelerated Universe Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) is a narrow band, very wide field Cosmological Survey to be carried out from the Javalambre Observatory in Spain with a purpose-built, dedicated 2.5m telescope and a 4.7 sq.deg. camera with 1.2Gpix. Starting in late 2015, J-PAS will observe 8500sq.deg. of Northern Sky and measure $0.003(1+z)$ photo-z for $9\times10^7$ LRG and ELG galaxies plus several million QSOs, sampling an effective volume of $\sim 14$ Gpc$^3$ up to $z=1.3$ and becoming the first radial BAO experiment to reach Stage IV. J-PAS will detect $7\times 10^5$ galaxy clusters and groups, setting constrains on Dark Energy which rival those obtained from its BAO measurements. Thanks to the superb characteristics of the site (seeing ~0.7 arcsec), J-PAS is expected to obtain a deep, sub-arcsec image of the Northern sky, which combined with its unique photo-z precision will produce one of the most powerful cosmological lensing surveys before the arrival of Euclid. J-PAS unprecedented spectral time domain information will enable a self-contained SN survey that, without the need for external spectroscopic follow-up, will detect, classify and measure $\sigma_z\sim 0.5\%$ redshifts for $\sim 4000$ SNeIa and $\sim 900$ core-collapse SNe. The key to the J-PAS potential is its innovative approach: a contiguous system of 54 filters with $145\AA$ width, placed $100\AA$ apart over a multi-degree FoV is a powerful "redshift machine", with the survey speed of a 4000 multiplexing low resolution spectrograph, but many times cheaper and much faster to build. The J-PAS camera is equivalent to a 4.7 sq.deg. "IFU" and it will produce a time-resolved, 3D image of the Northern Sky with a very wide range of Astrophysical applications in Galaxy Evolution, the nearby Universe and the study of resolved stellar populations.
    03/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We analyse the extended, ionized-gas emission of 24 early-type galaxies (ETGs) at $0<z<1$ from the ESO Distant Cluster Survey (EDisCS). We discuss different possible sources of ionization and favour star-formation as the main cause of the observed emission. Ten galaxies have disturbed gas kinematics, while 14 have rotating gas disks. In addition, 15 galaxies are in the field, while 9 are in the infall regions of clusters. This implies that, if the gas has an internal origin, this is likely stripped as the galaxies get closer to the cluster centre. If the gas instead comes from an external source, then our results suggest that this is more likely acquired outside the cluster environment, where galaxy-galaxy interactions more commonly take place. We analyse the Tully-Fisher relation of the ETGs with gas disks, and compare them to EDisCS spirals. Taking a matched range of redshifts, $M_{B}<-20$, and excluding galaxies with large velocity uncertainties, we find that, at fixed rotational velocity, ETGs are 1.7 mag fainter in $M_{B}$ than spirals. At fixed stellar mass, we also find that ETGs have systematically lower specific star-formation rates than spirals. This study constitutes an important step forward towards the understanding of the evolution of the complex ISM in ETGs by significantly extending the look-back-time baseline explored so far.
    03/2014; 440(4).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] To effectively investigate galaxy formation and evolution, it is of paramount importance to exploit homogeneous data for large samples of galaxies in different environments. The WINGS (WIde-field Nearby Galaxy-cluster Survey) project aim is to evaluate physical properties of galaxies in a complete sample of low redshift clusters to be used as reference sample for evolutionary studies. The WINGS survey is still ongoing and the original dataset will soon be enlarged with new observations. This paper presents the entire collection of WINGS measurements obtained so far. We decided to make use of the Virtual Observatory (VO) tools to share the WINGS database (that will be regularly updated) with the community. In the database each object has one unique identification (WINGSID). Each subset of estimated properties is accessible using a simple cone search (including wide-field images). We provide the scientific community the entire set of wide-field images. Furthermore, the published database contains photometry of 759,024 objects and surface brightness analysis for 42,275 and 41,463 galaxies in the V and B band, respectively. The completeness depends on the image quality, and on the cluster redshift, reaching on average 90% at V<= 21.7. Near infrared photometric catalogs for 26 (in K) and 19 (in J) clusters are part of the database and the number of sources is 962,344 in K and 628,813 in J. Here again the completeness depends on the data quality, but it is on average higher than 90% for J<=20.5 and K<=19.4. The IR subsample with a Sersic fit comprises 71,687 objects. A morphological classification is available for 39,923 galaxies. We publish spectroscopic data, including 6,132 redshifts, 5,299 star formation histories and 4,381 equivalent widths. Finally, a calculation of local density is presented and implemented in the VO catalogs for 66,164 galaxies.
    03/2014;
  • Source
    arXiv:1403.5237. 03/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The slope of the star formation rate/stellar mass relation (the SFR ``Main Sequence"; SFR--Mstel) is not quite unity: specific star formation rates (SFR/Mstel) are weakly-but-significantly anti-correlated with Mstel. Here we demonstrate that this trend may simply reflect the well-known increase in bulge mass-fractions -- portions of a galaxy not forming stars -- with Mstel. Using a large set of bulge/disk decompositions and SFR estimates derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we show that re-normalizing SFR by disk stellar mass (sSFRd = SFR/Mdisk) reduces the Mstel-dependence of SF efficiency by ~0.25 dex per dex, erasing it entirely in some subsamples. Quantitatively, we find log(sSFRd)--log(Mstel) to have a slope -0.20 < beta_disk < 0.00 +/- 0.02 (depending on SFR estimator and Main Sequence definition) for star-forming galaxies with Mstel > 10^10 Msun and bulge mass-fractions B/T < 0.7, generally consistent with a pure-disk control sample (beta_control = -0.05 +/- 0.04). That <SFR/Mdisk> is (largely) independent of host mass for star-forming disks bears strongly on scenarios of galaxy evolution derived from any SFR--Mstel relation, including: the principal manifestation of ``mass quenching" (bulge growth); the constancy of the shape of the star-forming stellar mass function (uniform dlog(Mstel)/dt, assuming disk-driven growth); and the degree to which dispersion in SFR(Mstel,t) encodes diversity in star formation histories. Our results emphasize the need to treat galaxies as composite systems -- not integrated masses -- in observational and theoretical work.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 02/2014; 785(2). · 6.35 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] We investigate the frequency of the various spectral types as a function both of the clusters' properties and of the galaxies' characteristics. In this way, using the same classification criteria adopted for higher redshift studies, we can consistently compare the properties of the local cluster population to those of their more distant counterparts. We describe a method we have developed to automatically measure the equivalent width of spectral lines in a robust way even in spectra with a non optimal signal to noise. Like this, we can derive a spectral classification reflecting the stellar content, based on the presence and strength of the [OII] and Hdelta lines. We are able to measure 4381 of the ~6000 originally observed spectra, in the fields of 48 clusters, 2744 of which are spectroscopically confirmed cluster members. The spectral classification is then analyzed as a function of galaxies' luminosity, stellar mass, morphology, local density and host cluster's global properties, and compared to higher redshift samples (MORPHS and EDisCS). The vast majority of galaxies in the local clusters population are passive objects, being also the most luminous and massive. At a magnitude limit of Mv<-18, galaxies in a post-starburst phase represent only ~11% of the cluster population and this fraction is reduced to ~5% at Mv<-19.5, which compares to the 18% at the same magnitude limit for high-z clusters. "Normal" star forming galaxies [e( c )] are proportionally more common in local clusters. The relative occurrence of post--starbursts suggests a very similar quenching efficiency in clusters at redshifts in the 0 to ~1 range. Furthermore, more important than the global environment, the local density seems to be the main driver of galaxy evolution in local clusters, at least with respect to their stellar populations content.
    02/2014;
  • Source
    Conor Omand, Michael Balogh, Bianca Poggianti
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using data from the SDSS-DR7, including structural measurements from 2D surface brightness fits with GIM2D, we show how the fraction of quiescent galaxies depends on galaxy stellar mass $M_*$, effective radius $R_e$, fraction of $r-$band light in the bulge, $B/T$, and their status as a central or satellite galaxy at $0.01<z<0.2$. For central galaxies we confirm that the quiescent fraction depends not only on stellar mass, but also on $R_e$. The dependence is particularly strong as a function of $M_*/R_e^\alpha$, with $\alpha\sim 1.5$. This appears to be driven by a simple dependence on $B/T$ over the mass range $9 < \log(M_*/M_\odot) < 11.5$, and is qualitatively similar even if galaxies with $B/T>0.3$ are excluded. For satellite galaxies, the quiescent fraction is always larger than that of central galaxies, for any combination of $M_*$, $R_e$ and $B/T$. The quenching efficiency is not constant, but reaches a maximum of $\sim 0.7$ for galaxies with $9 < \log(M_*/M_\odot) < 9.5$ and $R_e<1$ kpc. This is the same region of parameter space in which the satellite fraction itself reaches its maximum value, suggesting that the transformation from an active central galaxy to a quiescent satellite is associated with a reduction in $R_e$ due to an increase in dominance of a bulge component.
    02/2014; 440(1).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] We studied the size-surface brightness and the size-mass relations of a sample of 16 cluster elliptical galaxies morphologically selected in the cluster RDCS J0848+4453 at z=1.27. Our aim was to assess whether they have completed their mass growth at their redshift or significant mass and/or size growth can or must take place till z=0. As comparison samples of cluster ellipticals in the local universe we used the Coma Cluster sample of Jorgensen et al. and the WINGS survey sample. The comparison with the local Kormendy relation shows that the luminosity evolution due to the aging of the stellar content already assembled at z=1.27 brings them on the local relation. Moreover, they are on the size-mass relation of the local cluster ellipticals. These results imply that for a given mass the stellar mass at z~1.3 is distributed within these ellipticals according to the same stellar mass profile of local ellipticals. We find that a pure size evolution, even mild, is ruled out for our galaxies since it would bring them away from both the Kormendy and the size-mass relation. If an evolution of the effective radius takes place, this must be compensated by an increase of the luminosity and hence of the stellar mass of the galaxies to keep them on the local relations. We show that to remain on the Kormendy relation the stellar mass must increase as the effective radius. However, this mass growth is not sufficient to keep the galaxies on the size-mass relation for the same variation of effective radius. Thus, if we want to preserve the Kormendy relation we fail in satisfying the size-mass relation and vice versa. Hence, the combined analysis of the size-surface brightness relation with the size-mass relation leads to the result that these galaxies cannot growth further their stellar mass and/or change their structure.
    01/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The \emph{Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space} (GLASS) is a Hubble Space Telescope (\HST) Large Program, which will obtain 140 orbits of grism spectroscopy of the core and infall regions of 10 galaxy clusters, selected to be among the very best cosmic telescopes. Extensive \HST\ imaging is available from many sources including the CLASH and Frontier Field programs. We introduce the survey by analyzing spectra of faint multiply-imaged galaxies and $z\gtrsim6$ galaxy candidates obtained from the first seven orbits targeting the core of the Frontier Field cluster MACS0717.5+3745. Using the G102 and G141 grisms to cover the wavelength range 0.8--1.7$\mu$m, we confirm 4 strongly lensed systems by detecting emission lines in each of the images. For the 9 $z\gtrsim6$ galaxy candidates clear from contamination, we do not detect any emission line down to a 1-$\sigma$ noise level of $\sim$5$\times$10$^{-18}$\cgs. Taking lensing magnification into account, our flux sensitivity reaches $\sim$0.2--5$\times$10$^{-18}$\cgs. These limits over an uninterrupted wavelength range rule out the possibility that the high-$z$ galaxy candidates are instead strong line emitters at lower redshift. These results show that by means of careful modeling of the background--- and with the assistance of lensing magnification---interesting flux limits can be reached for large numbers of objects, avoiding pre-selection and the wavelength restrictions inherent to ground-based multi-slit spectroscopy. These observations confirm the power of slitless \HST\ spectroscopy even in fields as crowded as a cluster core.
    Galaxy Astrophysics. 01/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper belongs to a series presenting the WIde Field Nearby Galaxy-cluster Survey (WINGS). The WINGS project has collected wide-field, optical (B,V), and near-infrared (J,K) imaging as well as medium resolution spectroscopy of galaxies in a sample of 76 X-ray selected nearby clusters (0.04
    12/2013;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper belongs to a series presenting the WIde Field Nearby Galaxy-cluster Survey (WINGS). The WINGS project has collected wide-field, optical (B,V) and near-infrared (J,K) imaging, as well as medium resolution spectroscopy of galaxies in a sample of 76 X-ray selected nearby clusters (0.04 < z < 0.07), with the aim of establishing a reference sample for evolutionary studies of galaxies and galaxy clusters. In this paper we present the U-band photometry of galaxies and stars in the fields of 17 clusters of the WINGS sample. We also extend to a larger field of view the original B- and V-band photometry (WINGS-OPT) for 9 and 6 WINGS clusters, respectively. We use both the new and the already existing B-band photometry to get reliable (U-B) colors of galaxies within three fixed apertures in kpc. To this aim, in the reduction procedure we put particular care in the astrometric precision. Since not all the observations have been taken in good transparency conditions, the photometric calibration was partly obtained relying on the SDSS and WINGS-OPT photometry for the U- and optical bands, respectively. We provide U-band (also B- and V-band, where possible) total magnitudes of stars and galaxies in the fields of clusters. Just for galaxies, the catalogs also provide geometrical parameters and carefully centered aperture magnitudes. The internal consistency of magnitudes has been checked for clusters imaged with different cameras, while the external photometric consistency has been obtained comparing with the WINGS-OPT and SDSS surveys. The photometric catalogs presented here add the U-band information to the WINGS database for extending the SED of the galaxies, in particular in the UV wavelengths which are fundamental for deriving the SFR properties.
    11/2013;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present the first photometric redshift distribution for a large unbiased sample of 870um selected submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) with robust identifications based on observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). In our analysis we consider 96 SMGs in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South, 77 of which have 4-19 band, optical-near-infrared, photometry. We model the Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) for these 77 SMGs, deriving a median photometric redshift of z=2.3+/-0.1. The remaining 19 SMGs have insufficient optical or near-infrared photometry to derive photometric redshifts, but a stacking analysis of IRAC and Herschel observations confirms they are not spurious. Assuming these sources have an absolute H-band magnitude distribution comparable to that of a complete sample of z~1-2 SMGs, we demonstrate that the undetected SMGs lie at higher redshifts, raising the median redshift for SMGs to z=2.5+/-0.2. More critically we show that the proportion of galaxies undergoing an SMG phase at z>3 is 35+/-5% of the total population. We derive a median stellar mass for SMGs of Mstar=(8+/-1)x10^10Mo, but caution that there are significant systematic uncertainties in our stellar mass estimate, up to x5 for individual sources. We compare our sample of SMGs to a volume-limited, morphologically classified sample of ellipticals in the local Universe. Assuming the star formation activity in SMGs has a timescale of ~100Myr we show that their descendants at z~0 would have a space density and M_H distribution which are in good agreement with those of local ellipticals. In addition the inferred mass-weighted ages of the local ellipticals broadly agree with the look-back times of the SMG events. Taken together, these results are consistent with a simple model that identifies SMGs as events that form most of the stars seen in the majority of luminous elliptical galaxies at the present day.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2013; 788(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We compare the number density of compact (small size) massive galaxies at low and high redshift using our Padova Millennium Galaxy and Group Catalogue (PM2GC) at z=0.03-0.11 and the CANDELS results from Barro et al. (2013) at z=1-2. The number density of local compact galaxies with luminosity weighted (LW) ages compatible with being already passive at high redshift is compared with the density of compact passive galaxies observed at high-z. Our results place an upper limit of a factor ~2 to the evolution of the number density and are inconsistent with a significant size evolution for most of the compact galaxies observed at high-z. The evolution may be instead significant (up to a factor 5) for the most extreme, ultracompact galaxies. Considering all compact galaxies, regardless of LW age and star formation activity, a minority of local compact galaxies (<=1/3) might have formed at z<1. Finally, we show that the secular decrease of the galaxy stellar mass due to simple stellar evolution may in some cases be a non-negligible factor in the context of the evolution of the mass-size relation, and we caution that passive evolution in mass should be taken into account when comparing samples at different redshifts.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 777(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: By exploiting the database of early-type galaxies (ETGs) members of the WINGS survey of nearby clusters, we address here the long debated question of the origin and shape of the Fundamental Plane (FP). Our data suggest that different physical mechanisms concur in shaping and tilting the FP with respect to the virial plane (VP) expectation. In particular, an hybrid solution in which the structure of galaxies and their stellar population are the main contributors to the FP tilt seems to be favoured. We find that the bulk of the tilt should be attributed to structural non-homology, while stellar population effects play an important but less crucial role. Our data indicate that the differential FP tilt between the V and K-band is due to a sort of entanglement between structural and stellar population effects, for which the inward steepening of color profiles (V-K) tends to increase at increasing the stellar mass of ETGs. The same analysis applied to the ATLAS3D and SDSS data in common with WINGS (WSDSS throughout the paper) confirms our results, the only remarkable difference being the less important role of the stellar mass-to-light-ratio in determining the FP tilt. The ATLAS3D data also suggest that the tilt depends as well on the dark matter (DM) fraction and on the rotational contribution to the kinetic energy (Vrot/sigma). We show that the global properties of the FP can be understood in terms of the underlying correlation among mass, structure and stellar population of ETGs, for which, at increasing the stellar mass, ETGs become (on average) older and more centrally concentrated. Finally, we show that a Malmquist-like selection effect may mimic a differential evolution of the mass-to-light ratio for galaxies of different masses. This should be taken into account in the studies investigating the amount of the so called downsizing phenomenon.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; 435(1). · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We study the galaxy stellar mass function in different environments in the local Universe, considering both the total mass function and that of individual galaxy morphological types. We compare the mass functions of galaxies with log10M*/M⊙ ≥ 10.25 in the general field and in galaxy groups, binary and single galaxy systems from the Padova-Millennium Galaxy and Group Catalogue at z = 0.04-0.1 with the mass function of galaxy clusters of the WIde-field Nearby Galaxy-Cluster Survey at z = 0.04-0.07. Strikingly, the variations of the mass function with global environment, overall, are small and subtle. The shapes of the mass functions of the general field and clusters are indistinguishable, and only small, statistically insignificant variations are allowed in groups. Only the mass function of our single galaxies, representing the least massive haloes and comprising less than a third of the general field population, is proportionally richer in low-mass galaxies than other environments. The most notable environmental effect is a progressive change in the upper galaxy mass, with very massive galaxies found only in the most massive environments. This environment-dependent mass cut-off is unable to affect the Schechter parameters and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and can only be revealed by an ad hoc analysis. Finally, we show how, in each given environment, the mass function changes with morphological type, and that galaxies of the same morphological type can have different mass functions in different environments.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2013; 432(4):3141-3152. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The IMACS Cluster Building Survey (ICBS) provides spectra of ~2200 galaxies 0.31 < z < 0.54 in five rich clusters (R 5 Mpc) and the field. Infalling, dynamically cold groups with tens of members account for approximately half of the supercluster population, contributing to a growth in cluster mass of ~100% by the present day. The ICBS spectra distinguish non-star-forming (PAS) and poststarburst (PSB) from star-forming galaxies—continuously star-forming (CSF) or starbursts (SBH or SBO), identified by anomalously strong Hδ absorption or [O II] emission. For the infalling cluster groups and similar field groups, we find a correlation between PAS+PSB fraction and group mass, indicating substantial "preprocessing" through quenching mechanisms that can turn star-forming galaxies into passive galaxies without the unique environment of rich clusters. SBH + SBO starburst galaxies are common, and they maintain an approximately constant ratio (SBH+SBO)/CSF 25% in all environments—from field, to groups, to rich clusters. Similarly, while PSB galaxies strongly favor denser environments, PSB/PAS 10%-20% for all environments. This result, and their timescale τ ~ 500 Myr, indicates that starbursts are not signatures of a quenching mechanism that produces the majority of passive galaxies. We suggest instead that starbursts and poststarbursts signal minor mergers and accretions, in star-forming and passive galaxies, respectively, and that the principal mechanisms for producing passive systems are (1) early major mergers, for elliptical galaxies, and (2) later, less violent processes—such as starvation and tidal stripping, for S0 galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 770(1):62. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present here a simple model for the star formation history (SFH) of galaxies that is successful in describing both the star formation rate density (SFRD) over cosmic time, as well as the distribution of specific star formation rates (sSFRs) of galaxies at the current epoch, and the evolution of this quantity in galaxy populations to a redshift of z = 1. We show first that the cosmic SFRD is remarkably well described by a simple log-normal in time. We next postulate that this functional form for the ensemble is also a reasonable description for the SFHs of individual galaxies. Using the measured sSFRs for galaxies at z ~ 0 from Paper III in this series, we then construct a realization of a universe populated by such galaxies in which the parameters of the log-normal SFH of each galaxy are adjusted to match the sSFRs at z ~ 0 as well as fitting, in ensemble, the cosmic SFRD from z = 0 to z = 8. This model predicts, with striking fidelity, the distribution of sSFRs in mass-limited galaxy samples to z = 1; this match is not achieved by other models with a different functional form for the SFHs of individual galaxies, but with the same number of degrees of freedom, suggesting that the log-normal form is well matched to the likely actual histories of individual galaxies. We also impose the sSFR versus mass distributions at higher redshifts from Paper III as constraints on the model, and show that, as previously suggested, some galaxies in the field, particularly low mass galaxies, are quite young at intermediate redshifts. As emphasized in Paper III, starbursts are insufficient to explain the enhanced sSFRs in intermediate redshift galaxies; we show here that a model using only smoothly varying log-normal SFHs for galaxies, which allows for some fraction of the population to have peak star formation at late times, does however fully explain the observations. Finally, we show that this model, constrained in detail only at redshifts z < 1, also produces the main sequence of star-formation observed at 1.5 < z < 2.5, again suggesting that the log-normal SFHs are a close approximation to the actual histories of typical galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 770(1):64. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using data from the IMACS Cluster Building Survey and from nearby galaxy surveys, we examine the evolution of the rate of star formation in field galaxies from z = 0.60 to the present. Fitting the luminosity function to a standard Schechter form, we find a rapid evolution of consistent with that found in other deep surveys; at the present epoch is evolving at the rate of 0.38 Gyr–1, several times faster than the predictions of simple models for the evolution of old, coeval galaxies. The evolution of the distribution of specific star formation rates (SSFRs) is also too rapid to explain by such models. We demonstrate that starbursts cannot, even in principle, explain the evolution of the SSFR distribution. However, the rapid evolution of both and the SSFR distribution can be explained if some fraction of galaxies have star formation rates characterized by both short rise and fall times and by an epoch of peak star formation more recent than the majority of galaxies. Although galaxies of every stellar mass up to 1.4 × 1011M ☉ show a range of epochs of peak star formation, the fraction of "younger" galaxies falls from about 40% at a mass of 4 × 1010M ☉ to zero at a mass of 1.4 × 1011M ☉. The incidence of younger galaxies appears to be insensitive to the density of the local environment; but does depend on group membership: relatively isolated galaxies are much more likely to be young than are group members.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 770(1):63. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The IMACS Cluster Building Survey uses the wide field spectroscopic capabilities of the IMACS spectrograph on the 6.5 m Baade Telescope to survey the large-scale environment surrounding rich intermediate-redshift clusters of galaxies. The goal is to understand the processes which may be transforming star-forming field galaxies into quiescent cluster members as groups and individual galaxies fall into the cluster from the surrounding supercluster. This first paper describes the survey: the data taking and reduction methods. We provide new calibrations of star formation rates (SFRs) derived from optical and infrared spectroscopy and photometry. We demonstrate that there is a tight relation between the observed SFR per unit B luminosity, and the ratio of the extinctions of the stellar continuum and the optical emission lines. With this, we can obtain accurate extinction-corrected colors of galaxies. Using these colors as well as other spectral measures, we determine new criteria for the existence of ongoing and recent starbursts in galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 770(1):61. · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
587.58 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 1999–2014
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2011
    • Universidad de La Laguna
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2008
    • University of Padova
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 1998
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom