L. J. Tacconi

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

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Publications (369)1292.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Galaxy evolution scenarios predict that the feedback of star formation and nuclear activity (AGN) can drive the transformation of gas-rich spiral mergers into ULIRGs, and, eventually, lead to the build-up of QSO/elliptical hosts. We study the role that star formation and AGN feedback have in launching and maintaining the molecular outflows in two starburst-dominated advanced mergers, NGC1614 and IRAS17208-0014, by analyzing the distribution and kinematics of their molecular gas reservoirs. We have used the PdBI array to image with high spatial resolution (0.5"-1.2") the CO(1-0) and CO(2-1) line emissions in NGC1614 and IRAS17208-0014, respectively. The velocity fields of the gas are analyzed and modeled to find the evidence of molecular outflows in these sources and characterize the mass, momentum and energy of these components. While most (>95%) of the CO emission stems from spatially-resolved (~2-3kpc-diameter) rotating disks, we also detect in both mergers the emission from high-velocity line wings that extend up to +-500-700km/s, well beyond the estimated virial range associated with rotation and turbulence. The kinematic major axis of the line wing emission is tilted by ~90deg in NGC1614 and by ~180deg in IRAS17208-0014 relative to their respective rotating disk major axes. These results can be explained by the existence of non-coplanar molecular outflows in both systems. In stark contrast with NGC1614, where star formation alone can drive its molecular outflow, the mass, energy and momentum budget requirements of the molecular outflow in IRAS17208-0014 can be best accounted for by the existence of a so far undetected (hidden) AGN of L_AGN~7x10^11 L_sun. The geometry of the molecular outflow in IRAS17208-0014 suggests that the outflow is launched by a non-coplanar disk that may be associated with a buried AGN in the western nucleus.
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a complete volume limited sample of nearby active galaxies selected by their 14-195keV luminosity, and outline its rationale for studying the mechanisms regulating gas inflow and outflow. We describe also a complementary sample of inactive galaxies, selected to match the AGN host galaxy properties. The active sample appears to have no bias in terms of AGN type, the only difference being the neutral absorbing column which is two orders of magnitude greater for the Seyfert 2s. In the luminosity range spanned by the sample, log L_{14-195keV} [erg/s] = 42.4-43.7, the optically obscured and X-ray absorbed fractions are 50-65%. The similarity of these fractions to more distant spectroscopic AGN samples, although over a limited luminosity range, suggests that the torus does not strongly evolve with redshift. Our sample confirms that X-ray unabsorbed Seyfert 2s are rare, comprising not more than a few percent of the Seyfert 2 population. At higher luminosities, the optically obscured fraction decreases (as expected for the increasing dust sublimation radius), but the X-ray absorbed fraction changes little. We argue that the cold X-ray absorption in these Seyfert 1s can be accounted for by neutral gas in clouds that also contribute to the broad line region (BLR) emission; and suggest that a geometrically thick neutral gas torus co-exists with the BLR and bridges the gap to the dusty torus.
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    ABSTRACT: Most present-day galaxies with stellar masses $\geq10^{11}$ solar masses show no ongoing star formation and are dense spheroids. Ten billion years ago, similarly massive galaxies were typically forming stars at rates of hundreds solar masses per year. It is debated how star formation ceased, on which timescales, and how this "quenching" relates to the emergence of dense spheroids. We measured stellar mass and star-formation rate surface density distributions in star-forming galaxies at redshift 2.2 with $\sim1$ kiloparsec resolution. We find that, in the most massive galaxies, star formation is quenched from the inside out, on timescales less than 1 billion years in the inner regions, up to a few billion years in the outer disks. These galaxies sustain high star-formation activity at large radii, while hosting fully grown and already quenched bulges in their cores.
    Science 04/2015; 348(6232). DOI:10.1126/science.1261094 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We combine two approaches to isolate the AGN luminosity at near-infrared wavelengths and relate the near-IR pure AGN luminosity to other tracers of the AGN. Using integral-field spectroscopic data of an archival sample of 51 local AGNs, we estimate the fraction of non-stellar light by comparing the nuclear equivalent width of the stellar 2.3 micron CO absorption feature with the intrinsic value for each galaxy. We compare this fraction to that derived from a spectral decomposition of the integrated light in the central arc second and find them to be consistent with each other. Using our estimates of the near-IR AGN light, we find a strong correlation with presumably isotropic AGN tracers. We show that a significant offset exists between type 1 and type 2 sources in the sense that type 1 sources are 7 (10) times brighter in the near-IR at log L_MIR = 42.5 (log L_X = 42.5). These offsets only becomes clear when treating infrared type 1 sources as type 1 AGNs. All AGNs have very red near-to-mid-IR dust colors. This, as well as the range of observed near-IR temperatures, can be explained with a simple model with only two free parameters: the obscuration to the hot dust and the ratio between the warm and hot dust areas. We find obscurations of A_V (hot) = 5 - 15 mag for infrared type 1 sources and A_V (hot) = 15 - 35 mag for type 2 sources. The ratio of hot dust to warm dust areas of about 1000 is nicely consistent with the ratio of radii of the respective regions as found by infrared interferometry.
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2015; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201525817 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report ALMA Band 7 (350 GHz) imaging at 0.4 - 0.6arcsec resolution and Band 9 (696 GHz) at ~0.25arcsec resolution of the luminous IR galaxies Arp 220 and NGC 6240. The long wavelength dust continuum is used to estimate ISM masses for Arp 220 East, West and NGC 6240 of 1.9, 4.2 and 1.6x10^9 msun within radii of 69, 65 and 190 pc. The HCN emission was modeled to derive the emissivity distribution as a function of radius and the kinematics of each nuclear disk, yielding dynamical masses consistent with the masses and sizes derived from the dust emission. In Arp 220, the major dust and gas concentrations are at radii less than 50 pc in both counter-rotating nuclear disks. The thickness of the disks in Arp 220estimated from the velocity dispersion and rotation velocities are 10-20 pc and the mean gas densities are n_H2 ~10^5 cm^-3 at R < 50 pc. We develop an analytic treatment for the molecular excitation (including photon trapping), yielding volume densities for both the HCN and CS emission with n_H2 ~2x10^5 cm^-3. The agreement of the mean density from the total mass and size with that required for excitation suggests that the volume is essentially filled with dense gas, i.e. it is not cloudy or like swiss cheese.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2014; 800(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/800/1/70 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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.
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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.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2014; 798(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/798/2/133 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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.
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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.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2014; 799(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/799/2/209 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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.
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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.
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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; 570. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424116 · 4.48 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; 513(7518). DOI:10.1038/nature13616 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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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.
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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.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2014; 567. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423843 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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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.
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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). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/788/1/11 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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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-. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/781/1/21 · 6.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12k Citations
1,292.85 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
  • 1994–2013
    • Tel Aviv University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2012
    • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2011
    • University of Texas at Austin
      Austin, Texas, United States
  • 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
  • 1999
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1997
    • Max Planck Institute of Physics
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1991
    • University of Groningen
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 1983–1990
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Astronomy
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1987–1989
    • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States