L. J. Tacconi

Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Arching, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (362)1238.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of HST $J$- and $H$-band imaging for 29 galaxies on the star-forming main sequence at $z\sim2$, which have Adaptive Optics VLT SINFONI integral field spectroscopy from our SINS/zC-SINF program. The SINFONI H$\alpha$ data resolve the on-going star-formation and the ionized gas kinematics on scales of $1-2$ kpc; the near-IR images trace the galaxies' rest-frame optical morphologies and distributions of stellar mass in old stellar populations at a similar resolution. The global light profiles of most galaxies show disk-like properties well described by a single S\'ersic profile with $n\sim1$, with only $\sim15%$ requiring a high $n>3$ S\'ersic index, all more massive than $10^{10}M_\odot$. In bulge+disk fits, about $40%$ of galaxies have a measurable bulge component in the light profiles, with $\sim15%$ showing a substantial bulge-to-total ratio $B/T\ge0.3$. This is a lower limit to the frequency of $z\sim2$ massive galaxies with a developed bulge component in stellar mass because it could be hidden by dust and/or outshined by a thick actively star-forming disk component. The galaxies' rest-optical half-light radii range between $1-7$ kpc, with a median of 2.1 kpc, and lie slightly above the size-mass relation at these epochs reported in the literature. This is attributed to differences in sample selection and definitions of size and/or mass measurements. The $(u-g)_{rest}$ color gradient and scatter within individual $z\sim2$ massive galaxies with $\ge10^{11}M_\odot$ are as high as in $z=0$ low-mass, late-type galaxies, and are consistent with the high star-formation rates of massive $z\sim2$ galaxies being sustained at large galactocentric distances.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present multiline CO observations of the complex submillimeter galaxy SMM J00266+1708. Using the Zpectrometer on the Green Bank Telescope, we provide the first precise spectroscopic measurement of its redshift (z=2.742). Based on followup CO(1-0), CO(3-2), and CO(5-4) mapping, SMM J00266+1708 appears to have two distinct components separated by ~500 km/s that are nearly coincident along our line of sight. The two components show hints of different kinematics, with the blue-shifted component dispersion-dominated and the red-shifted component showing a clear velocity gradient. CO line ratios differ slightly between the two components, indicating that the physical conditions in their molecular gas may not be alike. We tentatively infer that SMM J00266+1708 is an ongoing merger with a mass ratio of (7.8+/-4.0)/sin^2(i), with its overall size and surface brightness closely resembling that of other merging systems. We perform large velocity gradient modeling of the CO emission from both components and find that each component's properties are consistent with a single phase of molecular gas (i.e., a single temperatures and density); additional multi-phase modeling of the red-shifted component, although motivated by a CO(1-0) size larger than the CO(3-2) size, is inconclusive. SMM J00266+1708 provides evidence of early stage mergers within the submillimeter galaxy population. Continuum observations of J00266 at the ~1" resolution of our observations could not have distinguished between the two components due to their separation (0.73" +/- 0.06"), illustrating that the additional velocity information provided by spectral line studies is important for addressing the prevalence of unresolved galaxy pairs in low-resolution submillimeter surveys.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of far-infrared (FIR) CO rotational emission from nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN) and starburst galaxies, as well as several merging systems and Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs). Using Herschel-PACS, we have detected transitions in the J$_{upp}$ = 14 - 20 range ($\lambda \sim$ 130 - 185 $\mu$m, $\nu \sim$ 1612 - 2300 GHz) with upper limits on (and in two cases, detections of) CO line fluxes up to J$_{upp}$ = 30. The PACS CO data obtained here provide the first well-sampled FIR extragalactic CO Spectral Line Energy Distributions (SLEDs) for this range, and will be an essential reference for future high redshift studies. Combining these data with low-J line intensities taken from the literature, we present a CO ratio-ratio diagram and discuss its potential diagnostic value in distinguishing excitation sources and physical properties of the molecular gas. We then quantitatively analyze the CO emission from a subset of the detected sources with Large Velocity Gradient (LVG) radiative transfer models to fit the CO SLEDs. Using both single-component and two-component LVG models to fit the kinetic temperature, velocity gradient, number density and column density of the gas, we derive the molecular gas mass and the corresponding CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor, $\alpha_{CO}$, for each respective source. Finally, we compare our best-fit LVG model results with those obtained in previous studies of the same galaxies and comment on any differences.
    09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the KMOS^3D survey, a new integral field survey of over 600 galaxies at 0.7<z<2.7 using KMOS at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The KMOS^3D survey utilizes synergies with multi-wavelength ground and space-based surveys to trace the evolution of spatially-resolved kinematics and star formation from a homogeneous sample over 5 Gyrs of cosmic history. Targets, drawn from a mass-selected parent sample from the 3D-HST survey, cover the star formation-stellar mass ($M_*$) and rest-frame $(U-V)-M_*$ planes uniformly. We describe the selection of targets, the observations, and the data reduction. In the first year of data we detect Halpha emission in 191 $M_*=3\times10^{9}-7\times10^{11}$ Msun galaxies at z=0.7-1.1 and z=1.9-2.7. In the current sample 83% of the resolved galaxies are rotation-dominated, determined from a continuous velocity gradient and $v_{rot}/\sigma>1$, implying that the star-forming 'main sequence' (MS) is primarily composed of rotating galaxies at both redshift regimes. When considering additional stricter criteria, the Halpha kinematic maps indicate at least ~70% of the resolved galaxies are disk-like systems. Our high-quality KMOS data confirm the elevated velocity dispersions reported in previous IFS studies at z>0.7. For rotation-dominated disks, the average intrinsic velocity dispersion decreases by a factor of two from 50 km/s at z~2.3 to 25 km/s at z~0.9 while the rotational velocities at the two redshifts are comparable. Combined with existing results spanning z~0-3, disk velocity dispersions follow an approximate (1+z) evolution that is consistent with the dependence of velocity dispersion on gas fractions predicted by marginally-stable disk theory.
    09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We study the relationship between the structure and star-formation rate (SFR) of X-ray selected low and moderate luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the two Chandra Deep Fields, using Hubble Space Telescope imaging from the Cosmic Assembly Near Infrared Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) and deep far-infrared maps from the PEP+GOODS-Herschel survey. We derive detailed distributions of structural parameters and FIR luminosities from carefully constructed control samples of galaxies, which we then compare to those of the AGNs. At z~1, AGNs show slightly diskier light profiles than massive inactive (non-AGN) galaxies, as well as modestly higher levels of gross galaxy disturbance (as measured by visual signatures of interactions and clumpy structure). In contrast, at z~2, AGNs show similar levels of galaxy disturbance as inactive galaxies, but display a red central light enhancement, which may arise due to a more pronounced bulge in AGN hosts or due to extinguished nuclear light. We undertake a number of tests of these alternatives, but our results do not strongly favour one interpretation over the other. The mean SFR and its distribution among AGNs and inactive galaxies are similar at z>1.5. At z<1, however, clear and significant enhancements are seen in the SFRs of AGNs with bulge-dominated light profiles. These trends suggest an evolution in the relation between nuclear activity and host properties with redshift, towards a minor role for mergers and interactions at z>1.5.
    09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We combine molecular gas masses inferred from CO emission in 500 star forming galaxies (SFGs) between z=0 and 3, from the IRAM-COLDGASS, PHIBSS1/2 and other surveys, with gas masses derived from Herschel far-IR dust measurements in 512 galaxy stacks over the same stellar mass/redshift range. We constrain the scaling relations of molecular gas depletion time scale (tdepl) and gas fraction (Mmolgas/M*) with redshift, specific star formation rate (sSFR) and stellar mass (M*) in SFGs. The CO- and dust-based scaling relations agree remarkably well. This suggests that the CO-H2 mass conversion factor varies little within +-0.6 dex of the main sequence line, and less than a factor of 2 throughout this redshift range. We find that tdepl scales as (1+z)^-0.3 *(sSFR)^-0.5, with no M* dependence. The resulting steep redshift dependence of Mmolgas/M* ~ (1+z)^3 mirrors that of the sSFR and probably reflects the gas supply rate. The decreasing gas fractions at high M* are driven by the flattening of the SFR-M* relation. At constant M*, a larger sSFR is due to a combination of an increasing gas fraction and a decreasing depletion time scale. As a result galaxy integrated samples of the Mmolgas-SFR rate relation exhibit a super-linear slope, which increases with the range of sSFR. With these new relations it is now possible to determine Mmolgas with an accuracy of +-0.1 dex in relative terms, and +-0.2 dex including systematic uncertainties.
    09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed analysis of ALMA Bands 7 and 9 data of CO, HCO+, HCN and CS, augmented with Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) data of the ~ 200 pc circumnuclear disk (CND) and the ~ 1.3 kpc starburst ring (SB ring) of NGC~1068, a nearby (D = 14 Mpc) Seyfert 2 barred galaxy. We aim at determining the physical characteristics of the dense gas present in the CND and whether the different line intensity ratios we find within the CND as well as between the CND and the SB ring are due to excitation effects (gas density and temperature differences) or to a different chemistry. We estimate the column densities of each species in Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE). We then compute large one-dimensional non-LTE radiative transfer grids (using RADEX) by using first only the CO transitions, and then all the available molecules in order to constrain the densities, temperatures and column densities within the CND. We finally present a preliminary set of chemical models to determine the origin of the gas. We find that in general the gas in the CND is very dense (> 10^5 cm^-3) and hot (T> 150K), with differences especially in the temperature across the CND. The AGN position has the lowest CO/HCO+, CO/HCN and CO/CS column density ratios. RADEX analyses seem to indicate that there is chemical differentiation across the CND. We also find differences between the chemistry of the SB ring and some regions of the CND; the SB ring is also much colder and less dense than the CND. Chemical modelling does not succeed in reproducing all the molecular ratios with one model per region, suggesting the presence of multi-gas phase components. The LTE, RADEX and chemical analyses all indicate that more than one gas-phase component is necessary to uniquely fit all the available molecular ratios within the CND.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most massive galaxies are thought to have formed their dense stellar cores at early cosmic epochs. However, cores in their formation phase have not yet been observed. Previous studies have found galaxies with high gas velocity dispersions or small apparent sizes but so far no objects have been identified with both the stellar structure and the gas dynamics of a forming core. Here we present a candidate core in formation 11 billion years ago, at z=2.3. GOODS-N-774 has a stellar mass of 1.0x10^11 Msun, a half-light radius of 1.0 kpc, and a star formation rate of 90[+45-20]Msun/yr. The star forming gas has a velocity dispersion 317+-30 km/s, amongst the highest ever measured. It is similar to the stellar velocity dispersions of the putative descendants of GOODS-N-774, compact quiescent galaxies at z~2 and giant elliptical galaxies in the nearby Universe. Galaxies such as GOODS-N-774 appear to be rare; however, from the star formation rate and size of the galaxy we infer that many star forming cores may be heavily obscured, and could be missed in optical and near-infrared surveys.
    Nature. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of the cosmic star formation rate (SFR) is characterized by a peak around redshift z=2-3 and a subsequent drop by an order of magnitude. High levels of star formation are sustained by a continuous supply of fresh gas and high molecular gas fractions. But once galaxies exceed a certain mass or enter a harsh environment, star formation is quenched, and different phenomena could explain the resulting evolution of the cosmic SFR. Is it mostly driven by the available molecular gas, or because star formation processes are more efficient at high redshift? Here we present the results and the perspectives of the PHIBSS programs, which aim at understanding early galaxy evolution and the winding-down of star formation from the perspective of the galaxies' molecular gas reservoirs. These programs use statistically meaningful samples of galaxies belonging to the massive end of the star formation main-sequence at different redshifts. The previous IRAM PHIBSS program has already uncovered large molecular gas reservoirs at redshifts z∼1-2, with gas fractions 4 to 10 times higher than in the local Universe, and the ongoing IRAM and ALMA programs extend the sample to a wider range of redshifts and to a more complete sampling of the stellar mass-SFR plane. The IRAM PHIBSS2 legacy program is designed to make full use of the upcoming NOEMA capabilities.
    SF2A 2014; 06/2014
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we follow up on our previous detection of nuclear ionized outflows in the most massive (log(M*/Msun) >= 10.9) z~1-3 star-forming galaxies (Forster Schreiber et al.), by increasing the sample size by a factor of six (to 44 galaxies above log(M*/Msun) >= 10.9) from a combination of the SINS/zC-SINF, LUCI, GNIRS, and KMOS^3D spectroscopic surveys. We find a fairly sharp onset of the incidence of broad nuclear emission (FWHM in the Ha, [NII], and [SII] lines ~ 450-5300 km/s), with large [NII]/Ha ratios, above log(M*/Msun) ~ 10.9, with 66+/-15% of the galaxies in this mass range exhibiting this component. Broad nuclear components near and above the Schechter mass are similarly prevalent above and below the main sequence of star-forming galaxies, and at z~1 and ~2. The line ratios of the nuclear component are fit by excitation from active galactic nuclei (AGN), or by a combination of shocks and photoionization. The incidence of the most massive galaxies with broad nuclear components is at least as large as that of AGNs identified by X-ray, optical, infrared or radio indicators. The mass loading of the nuclear outflows is near unity. Our findings provide compelling evidence for powerful, high-duty cycle, AGN-driven outflows near the Schechter mass, and acting across the peak of cosmic galaxy formation.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the fueling and the feedback of star formation and nuclear activity in NGC1068, a nearby (D=14Mpc) Seyfert 2 barred galaxy, by analyzing the distribution and kinematics of the molecular gas in the disk. We have used ALMA to map the emission of a set of dense molecular gas tracers (CO(3-2), CO(6-5), HCN(4-3), HCO+(4-3) and CS(7-6)) and their underlying continuum emission in the central r ~ 2kpc of NGC1068 with spatial resolutions ~ 0.3"-0.5" (~ 20-35pc). Molecular line and dust continuum emissions are detected from a r ~ 200pc off-centered circumnuclear disk (CND), from the 2.6kpc-diameter bar region, and from the r ~ 1.3kpc starburst (SB) ring. Most of the emission in HCO+, HCN and CS stems from the CND. Molecular line ratios show dramatic order-of-magnitude changes inside the CND that are correlated with the UV/X-ray illumination by the AGN, betraying ongoing feedback. The gas kinematics from r ~ 50pc out to r ~ 400pc reveal a massive (M_mol ~ 2.7 (+0.9, -1.2) x 10^7 Msun) outflow in all molecular tracers. The tight correlation between the ionized gas outflow, the radio jet and the occurrence of outward motions in the disk suggests that the outflow is AGN-driven. The outflow rate estimated in the CND, dM/dt ~ 63 (+21, -37) Msun yr^-1, is an order of magnitude higher than the star formation rate at these radii, confirming that the outflow is AGN-driven. The power of the AGN is able to account for the estimated momentum and kinetic luminosity of the outflow. The CND mass load rate of the CND outflow implies a very short gas depletion time scale of <=1 Myr.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the correlations between stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR) and [NII]/Ha flux ratio as indicator of gas-phase metallicity for a sample of 222 galaxies at 0.8 < z < 2.6 and log(M*/Msun)=9.0-11.5 observed with LUCI at the LBT, and SINFONI and KMOS at the VLT. This sample provides a unique analysis of the mass-metallicity relation (MZR) over an extended redshift range using consistent data analysis techniques and strong-line metallicity indicator. Over the redshift range probed, we find a constant slope at the low-mass end of the MZR, which is however significantly steeper than seen in the local Universe. In this range, we can fully describe the redshift evolution of the MZR through the evolution of the characteristic turnover mass where the relation begins to flatten at the asymptotic metallicity. At fixed mass and redshift, our data do not show a correlation between the [NII]/Ha ratio and SFR, which disagrees with the 0.2-0.3dex offset in [NII]/Ha predicted by the "fundamental relation" between stellar mass, SFR and metallicity discussed in recent literature. However, the MZR evolution towards lower [NII]/Ha at earlier times does agree within the uncertainties with these predictions.
    05/2014;
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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.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2014; 788(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report ALMA observations of CO(3-2) emission in the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 1566, at a spatial resolution of 25 pc. Our aim is to investigate the morphology and dynamics of the gas inside the central kpc, and to probe nuclear fueling and feedback phenomena. NGC 1566 has a nuclear bar of 1.7 kpc radius and a conspicuous grand design spiral starting from this radius. The ALMA field of view, of diameter 0.9 kpc, lies well inside the nuclear bar and reveals a molecular trailing spiral structure of \sim 100 pc in size, which is possibly fueling the nucleus. The spiral starts with a large pitch angle from the center and then winds up in a pseudo-ring at the inner Lindblad resonance (ILR) of the nuclear bar. This is the first time that a trailing spiral structure is clearly seen driving the gas inwards inside the ILR ring of the nuclear bar. This phenomenon shows that the massive central black hole has a significant dynamical influence on the gas, triggering its fueling. The gaseous spiral is well correlated with the dusty spiral seen through extinction in HST images, and also with a spiral feature emitting 0.87mm continuum. This continuum emission must come essentially from cold dust heated by the interstellar radiation field. The HCN(4-3) and HCO+(4-3) lines were simultaneously mapped and detected in the nuclear spiral. The HCO+(4-3) line is 3 times stronger than the HCN(4-3), as expected when star formation excitation dominates over active galactic nucleus (AGN) heating. The CO(3-2)/HCO+(4-3) integrated intensity ratio is \sim 100. The molecular gas is in remarkably regular rotation, with only slight non-circular motions at the periphery of the nuclear spiral arms. These perturbations are quite small, and no outflow nor AGN feedback is detected.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Based on high-resolution, spatially resolved data of 10 z ~ 2 star-forming galaxies from the SINS/zC-SINF survey and LUCI data for 12 additional galaxies, we probe the excitation properties of high-z galaxies and the impact of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), shocks, and photoionization. We explore how these spatially resolved line ratios can inform our interpretation of integrated emission line ratios obtained at high redshift. Many of our galaxies fall in the "composite" region of the z ~ 0 [N II]/Hα versus [O III]/Hβ diagnostic (BPT) diagram, between star-forming galaxies and those with AGNs. Based on our resolved measurements, we find that some of these galaxies likely host an AGN, while others appear to be affected by the presence of shocks possibly caused by an outflow or from an enhanced ionization parameter as compared with H II regions in normal, local star-forming galaxies. We find that the Mass-Excitation (MEx) diagnostic, which separates purely star-forming and AGN hosting local galaxies in the [O III]/Hβ versus stellar mass plane, does not properly separate z ~ 2 galaxies classified according to the BPT diagram. However, if we shift the galaxies based on the offset between the local and z ~ 2 mass-metallicity relation (i.e., to the mass they would have at z ~ 0 with the same metallicity), we find better agreement between the MEx and BPT diagnostics. Finally, we find that metallicity calibrations based on [N II]/Hα are more biased by shocks and AGNs at high-z than the [O III]/Hβ/[N II]/Hα calibration. Based on observations at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Paranal, Chile (ESO program IDs 073.B-9018, 076.A-0527, 079.A-0341, 080.A-0330, 080.A-0339, 080.A-0635, 083.A-0781,084.A-0853, 087.A-0081, 091.A.-0126) and at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham in Arizona.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 781(1):21-. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use deep Herschel PACS and SPIRE observations in GOODSS, GOODSN and COSMOS to estimate the average dust mass (Mdust) of galaxies on a redshift-stellar mass (Mstar)-SFR grid. We study the scaling relations between Mdust, Mstar and SFR at z<=2.5. No clear evolution of Mdust is observed at fixed SFR and Mstar. We find a tight correlation between SFR and Mdust, likely a consequence of the Schmidt-Kennicutt (S-K) law. The Mstar-Mdust correlation observed by previous works flattens or sometimes disappears when fixing the SFR. Most of it likely derives from the combination of the Mdust-SFR and Mstar-SFR correlations. We then investigate the gas content as inferred by converting Mdust by assuming that the dust/gas ratio scales linearly with the gas metallicity. All galaxies in the sample follow, within uncertainties, the same SFR-Mgas relation (integrated S-K law), which broadly agrees with CO-based results for the bulk of the population, despite the completely different approaches. The majority of galaxies at z~2 form stars with an efficiency (SFE=SFR/Mgas) ~5 times higher than at z~0. It is not clear what fraction of such variation is an intrinsic redshift evolution and what fraction arises from selection effects. The gas fraction (fgas) decreases with Mstar and increases with SFR, and does not evolve with z at fixed Mstar and SFR. We explain these trends by introducing a universal relation between fgas, Mstar and SFR, non-evolving out to z~2.5. Galaxies move across this relation as their gas content evolves in time. We use the 3D fundamental fgas-Mstar-SFR relation and the redshift evolution of the Main Sequence to estimate the evolution of fgas in the average population of galaxies as a function of z and Mstar, and we find evidence a downsizing scenario.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2013; 562. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] We study the evolution of the dust temperatures of galaxies in the SFR-M* plane up to z~2 using observations from the Herschel Space Observatory. Starting from a sample of galaxies with reliable star-formation rates (SFRs), stellar masses (M*) and redshift estimates, we grid the SFR-M* parameter space in several redshift ranges and estimate the mean Tdust of each SFR-M*-z bin. Dust temperatures are inferred using the stacked far-infrared flux densities of our SFR-M*-z bins. At all redshifts, Tdust increases with infrared luminosities (LIR), specific SFRs (SSFR; i.e., SFR/M*) and distances with respect to the main sequence (MS) of the SFR-M* plane (i.e., D_SSFR_MS=log[SSFR(galaxy)/SSFR_MS(M*,z)]). The Tdust-SSFR and Tdust-D_SSFR_MS correlations are statistically more significant than the Tdust-LIR one. While the slopes of these three correlations are redshift-independent, their normalizations evolve from z=0 and z~2. We convert these results into a recipe to derive Tdust from SFR, M* and z. The existence of a strong Tdust-D_SSFR_MS correlation provides us with information on the dust and gas content of galaxies. (i) The slope of the Tdust-D__SSFR_MS correlation can be explained by the increase of the star-formation efficiency (SFE; SFR/Mgas) with D_SSFR_MS as found locally by molecular gas studies. (ii) At fixed D_SSFR_MS, the constant Tdust observed in galaxies probing large ranges in SFR and M* can be explained by an increase or decrease of the number of star-forming regions with comparable SFE enclosed in them. (iii) At high redshift, the normalization towards hotter temperature of the Tdust-D_SSFR_MS correlation can be explained by the decrease of the metallicities of galaxies or by the increase of the SFE of MS galaxies. All these results support the hypothesis that the conditions prevailing in the star-forming regions of MS and far-above-MS galaxies are different.
    11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of ubiquitous powerful nuclear outflows in massive (> 10^11 Msun) z~2 star-forming galaxies (SFGs), which are plausibly driven by an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN). The sample consists of the eight most massive SFGs from our SINS/zC-SINF survey of galaxy kinematics with the imaging spectrometer SINFONI, six of which have sensitive high-resolution adaptive optics (AO) assisted observations. All of the objects are disks hosting a significant stellar bulge. The spectra in their central regions exhibit a broad component in Halpha and forbidden [NII] and [SII] line emission, with typical velocity FWHM ~ 1500 km/s, [NII]/Halpha ratio ~ 0.6, and intrinsic extent of 2 - 3 kpc. These properties are consistent with warm ionized gas outflows associated with Type 2 AGN, the presence of which is confirmed via independent diagnostics in half the galaxies. The data imply a median ionized gas mass outflow rate of ~ 60 Msun/yr and mass loading of ~ 3. At larger radii, a weaker broad component is detected but with lower FWHM ~ 485 km/s and [NII]/Halpha ~ 0.35, characteristic for star formation-driven outflows as found in the lower-mass SINS/zC-SINF galaxies. The high inferred mass outflow rates and frequent occurrence suggest the nuclear outflows efficiently expel gas out of the centers of the galaxies with high duty cycles, and may thus contribute to the process of star formation quenching in massive galaxies. Larger samples at high masses will be crucial to confirm the importance and energetics of the nuclear outflow phenomenon, and its connection to AGN activity and bulge growth.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 787(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Massive galaxies in the distant Universe form stars at much higher rates than their local counterparts. Although direct resolution of the star forming regions of these galaxies is still a challenge, recent molecular gas observations at the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer enable us to study the star formation efficiency at sub-galactic scales around z = 1.2. We present a method to obtain the gas and star formation rate (SFR) surface densities of ensembles of clumps within galaxies at this redshift, and derive a spatially resolved Kennicutt-Schmidt (KS) relation at a scale of about 8.5 kpc. This method is based on the identification of these structures in position-velocity diagrams corresponding to slices within the galaxies, even though the corresponding scales are not resolved. The data globally indicates an average depletion time of 1.9 Gyr, but with significant variations from point to point within the galaxies.
    SF2A 2013; 11/2013
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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

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,238.63 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2014
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2006–2013
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 1996–2013
    • Tel Aviv University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2012
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2009
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Astronomy
      Maryland, United States
  • 2008
    • The Ohio State University
      • Center for Cosmology and Astoparticle Physics
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Physics
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997
    • Max Planck Institute of Physics
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1991
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 1989
    • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 1983–1987
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Astronomy
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States