M. Giavalisco

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (287)1071.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We use data taken as part of HST/WFC3 observations of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) to identify massive and evolved galaxies at 3<z<4.5. This is performed using the strength of the Balmer break feature at rest-frame 3648A, which is a diagnostic of the age of the stellar population in galaxies. Using WFC3 H-band selected catalog for the CANDELS GOODS-S field and deep multi-waveband photometry from optical (HST) to mid-infrared (Spitzer) wavelengths, we identify a population of old and evolved post-starburst galaxies based on the strength of their Balmer breaks (Balmer Break Galaxies- BBGs). The galaxies are also selected to be bright in rest-frame near-IR wavelengths and hence, massive. We identify a total of 16 BBGs. Fitting the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the BBGs show that the candidate galaxies have average estimated ages of ~800 Myr and average stellar masses of ~5x10^10 M_sun, consistent with being old and massive systems. Two of our BBG candidates are also identified by the criteria that is sensitive to star forming galaxies (LBG selection). We find a number density of ~3.2x10^-5 Mpc^-3 for the BBGs corresponding to a mass density of ~2.0x10^6 M_sun/Mpc^3 in the redshift range covering the survey. Given the old age and the passive evolution, it is argued that some of these objects formed the bulk of their mass only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We measure new estimates for the galaxy stellar mass function and star formation rates for samples of galaxies at $z \sim 4,~5,~6~\&~7$ using data in the CANDELS GOODS South field. The deep near-infrared observations allow us to construct the stellar mass function at $z \geq 6$ directly for the first time. We estimate stellar masses for our sample by fitting the observed spectral energy distributions with synthetic stellar populations, including nebular line and continuum emission. The observed UV luminosity functions for the samples are consistent with previous observations, however we find that the observed $M_{UV}$ - M$_{*}$ relation has a shallow slope more consistent with a constant mass to light ratio and a normalisation which evolves with redshift. Our stellar mass functions have steep low-mass slopes ($\alpha \approx -1.9$), steeper than previously observed at these redshifts and closer to that of the UV luminosity function. Integrating our new mass functions, we find the observed stellar mass density evolves from $\log_{10} \rho_{*} = 6.64^{+0.58}_{-0.89}$ at $z \sim 7$ to $7.36\pm0.06$ $\text{M}_{\odot} \text{Mpc}^{-3}$ at $z \sim 4$. Finally, combining the measured UV continuum slopes ($\beta$) with their rest-frame UV luminosities, we calculate dust corrected star-formation rates (SFR) for our sample. We find the specific star-formation rate for a fixed stellar mass increases with redshift whilst the global SFR density falls rapidly over this period. Our new SFR density estimates are higher than previously observed at this redshift.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Distant star-forming galaxies show a correlation between their star-formation rates (SFR) and stellar masses, and this has deep implications for galaxy formation. Here, we present a study on the evolution of the slope and scatter of the SFR$-$stellar mass relation for galaxies at $3.5\leq z\leq 6.5$ using multi-wavelength photometry in GOODS-S from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) and Spitzer Extended Deep Survey. We describe an updated, Bayesian spectral-energy distribution fitting method that incorporates effects of nebular line emission, star-formation histories that are constant or rising with time, and different dust attenuation prescriptions (starburst and Small Magellanic Cloud). From $z$=6.5 to $z$=3.5 star-forming galaxies in CANDELS follow a nearly unevolving correlation between stellar mass and SFR that follows SFR $\sim$ $M_\star^\alpha$ with $\alpha = 0.54 \pm 0.16$ at $z\sim 6$ and $0.70 \pm 0.21$ at $z\sim 4$. This evolution requires a star-formation history that increases with decreasing redshift (on average, the SFRs of individual galaxies rise with time). The measured scatter in the SFR$-$stellar mass relation is tight, $\sigma(\log \mathrm{SFR}/\mathrm{M}_\odot$ yr$^{-1})< 0.3 -$0.4 dex, for galaxies with $\log M_\star/\mathrm{M}_\odot > 9$ dex. Assuming that the SFR is tied to the net gas inflow rate (SFR $\sim$ $\dot{M}_\mathrm{gas}$), then the scatter in the gas inflow rate is also smaller than 0.3$-$0.4 dex for star-forming galaxies in these stellar mass and redshift ranges, at least when averaged over the timescale of star-formation. We further show that the implied star-formation history of objects selected on the basis of their co-moving number densities is consistent with the evolution in the SFR$-$stellar mass relation.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We determine the intrinsic, 3-dimensional shape distribution of star-forming galaxies at 0<z<2.5, as inferred from their observed projected axis ratios. In the present-day universe star-forming galaxies of all masses 1e9 - 1e11 Msol are predominantly thin, nearly oblate disks, in line with previous studies. We now extend this to higher redshifts, and find that among massive galaxies (M* > 1e10 Msol) disks are the most common geometric shape at all z < 2. Lower-mass galaxies at z>1 possess a broad range of geometric shapes: the fraction of elongated (prolate) galaxies increases toward higher redshifts and lower masses. Galaxies with stellar mass 1e9 Msol (1e10 Msol) are a mix of roughly equal numbers of elongated and disk galaxies at z~1 (z~2). This suggests that galaxies in this mass range do not yet have disks that are sustained over many orbital periods, implying that galaxies with present-day stellar mass comparable to that of the Milky Way typically first formed such sustained stellar disks at redshift z~1.5-2. Combined with constraints on the evolution of the star formation rate density and the distribution of star formation over galaxies with different masses, our findings imply that, averaged over cosmic time, the majority of stars formed in disks.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 07/2014; 792(1). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aim to determine the redshift of GDS-1408, the most solid z~7 galaxy candidate lying in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. We have used all the VLT spectra of GDS-1408 collected by us and two other groups with FORS2 at VLT in the last five years, for a total integration time of 52hr. The combined spectrum is the deepest ever obtained of a galaxy in the Reionization epoch. We do not detect any emission line or continuum over the whole wavelength range, up to 10100A. Based on an accurate set of simulations, we are able to put a stringent upper limit of f(Lya)<3x10^(-18) erg/s/cm2 at 3-9 sigma in the explored wavelength range, corresponding to a rest-frame equivalent width EW<9A. Combining this limit with the SED modelling we refine the redshift to be z=6.82+/- 0.1 (1-sigma). The same SED fitting indicates that GDS-1408 is relatively extinct (A1600~1) with a dust corrected star formation rate of ~ 20 Msol/yr. The comparison between the un-attenuated equivalent width predicted by the case-B recombination theory and the observed upper limit, provides a limit on the effective Lya escape fraction of f_(esc)^(eff)(Lya)<8%. Even though we cannot rule out a major contribution of the inter/circum galactic medium in damping the line, a plausible interpretation is that GDS-1408 is moderately evolved and contains sufficient gas and dust to attenuate the Lya emission, before it reaches the intergalactic medium. The redshift confirmation of even the best z~7 candidates is very hard to achieve (unless the Lya or unusually strong rest-UV nebular emission lines are present) with the current generation of 8-10m class telescopes. We show that both JWST and E-ELT will be necessary to make decisive progresses. Currently, the increased redshift accuracy obtained with this kind of analysis makes ALMA an interesting option for the redshift confirmation.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The first quenched galaxies (z>2) are both the most massive, and most compact, suggesting a physical connection between high stellar density and efficient, rapid cessation of star-formation. We present rest-frame UV spectra of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z~3 selected to be candidate progenitors of the quenched galaxies at z~2, compared to other LBGs of similar mass and star-formation rate (non-candidates). We find that candidate progenitors have faster outflow velocities and higher equivalent widths of interstellar absorption lines, implying larger velocity spread among absorbing clouds. Candidates deviate from the relationship between equivalent widths of Lyman-alpha and interstellar absorption lines in that their Lyman-alpha emission remains strong despite high interstellar absorption, possibly indicating that the neutral HI fraction is patchy, such that Lyman-alpha photons can escape. We detect stronger CIV P-Cygni features (emission and absorption) and HeII emission in candidates, indicative of larger populations of metal-rich Wolf-Rayet stars compared to non-candidates. The faster outflows, broader spread of gas velocity, and Lyman-alpha properties of candidates are consistent with their ISM being subject to more energetic feedback than non-candidates. Together with their larger metallicity (implying more evolved star-formation activity) this leads us to propose, if speculatively, that they are likely to quench sooner than non-candidates, supporting the validity of selection criteria used to identify them as progenitors of z~2 passive galaxies. We propose that massive, compact galaxies undergo more rapid growth of their stellar mass content, perhaps because the gas accretion mechanisms are different, and quench sooner than normally-sized LBGs at these (early) epochs.
    07/2014;
  • Yuping Tang, Mauro Giavalisco, Yicheng Guo, Jaron Kurk
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    ABSTRACT: We report on a study of the 2300-2600\AA FeII/FeII* multiplets in the rest-UV spectra of star-forming galaxies at 1.0<z<2.6 as probes of galactic-scale outflows. We extracted a mass-limited sample of 97 galaxies at z~1.0-2.6 from ultra-deep spectra obtained during the GMASS spetroscopic survey in the GOODS South field with the VLT and FORS2. We obtain robust measures of the rest equivalent width of the FeII absorption lines down to a limit of W_r>1.5 \AA and of the FeII* emission lines to W_r>0.5 \AA. Whenever we can measure the systemic redshift of the galaxies from the [OII] emission line, we find that both the FeII and MgII absorption lines are blueshifted, indicative that both species trace gaseous outflows. We also find, however, that the FeII gas has generally lower outflow velocity relative to that of MgII. We investigate the variation of FeII line profiles as a function of the radiative transfer properties of the lines, and find that transitions with higher oscillator strengths are more blueshifted in terms of both line centroids and line wings. We discuss the possibility that FeII lines are suppressed by stellar absorptions. The lower velocities of the FeII lines relative to the MgII doublet, as well as the absence of spatially extended FeII* emission in 2D stacked spectra, suggest that most clouds responsible for the FeII absorption lie close (3~4 kpc) to the disks of galaxies. We show that the FeII/FeII* multiplets offer unique probes of the kinematic structure of galactic outflows.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The observed deficit of strongly Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies at z>6.5 is attributed to either increasing neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) and/or to the evolving galaxy properties. To investigate this, we have performed very deep near-IR spectroscopy of z>7 galaxies using MOSFIRE on the Keck-I Telescope. We measure the Lyman-alpha fraction at z~8 (combined photometric redshift peak at z=7.7) using two methods. First, we derived NLy{\alpha}/Ntot directly using extensive simulations to correct for incompleteness. Second, we used a Bayesian formalism (introduced by Treu et al. 2012) that compares the z>7 galaxy spectra to models of the Lyman-alpha equivalent width (WLy{\alpha}) distribution at z~6. We explored two simple evolutionary scenarios: smooth evolution where Lyman-alpha is attenuated in all galaxies by a constant factor (perhaps owing to processes from galaxy evolution or a slowly increasing IGM opacity), and patchy evolution where Lyman-alpha is blocked in some fraction of galaxies (perhaps due to the IGM being opaque along only some fraction of sightlines). The Bayesian formalism places stronger constraints compared with the direct method. Combining our data with that in the literature we find that at z~8 the Lyman-alpha fraction has dropped by a factor >3(84% confidence interval) using both the smooth and patchy scenarios compared to the z~6 values. Furthermore, we find a tentative evidence that the data favor the patchy scenario over smooth (with "positive" Bayesian evidence), extending trends observed at z~7 to higher redshift. If this decrease is a result of reionization as predicted by theory, then our data imply the volume averaged neutral hydrogen fraction in the IGM to be >0.3 suggesting that the reionization of the universe is in progress at z~8.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. The mass assembly of galaxies can proceed through different physical processes. Here we report on the spectroscopic identification of close physical pairs of galaxies at redshifts 2 ≲ z< 4 and discuss the impact of major mergers in building galaxies at these early cosmological times. Aims: We aim to identify and characterize close physical pairs of galaxies destined to merge and use their properties to infer the contribution of merging processes to the early mass assembly of galaxies. Methods: We searched for galaxy pairs with a transverse separation rp ≤ 25h-1 kpc and a velocity difference Δv ≤ 500 km s-1 using early data from the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS) that comprise a sample of 1111 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts measurements at redshifts 1.8 ≤ z ≤ 4 in the COSMOS, ECDFS, and VVDS-02h fields, combined with VVDS data. We analysed their spectra and associated visible and near-infrared photometry to assess the main properties of merging galaxies that have an average stellar mass M⋆ = 2.3 × 1010 M☉ at these redshifts. Results: Using the 12 physical pairs found in our sample we obtain a first robust measurement of the major merger fraction at these redshifts, fMM = 19.4-6+9%. These pairs are expected to merge within 1 Gyr on average each producing a more massive galaxy by the time the cosmic star formation peaks at z ~ 1 - 2. Using the pairs' merging time scales, we derive a merging rate of RMM = 0.17-0.05+0.08 Gyr-1. From the average mass ratio between galaxies in the pairs, the stellar mass of the resulting galaxy after merging will be ~60% higher than the most massive galaxy in the pair before merging. We conclude that major merging of galaxy pairs is on-going at 2 ≲ z< 4 and is significantly contributing to the major mass assembly phase of galaxies at this early epoch.Based on data obtained with the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope, Paranal, Chile, under Large Programmes 070.A-9007, 177.A-0837, and 185.A-0791. Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of the CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii.
    04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present new results from our search for z~7 galaxies from deep spectroscopic observations of candidate z-dropouts in the CANDELS fields. Despite the extremely low flux limits achieved by our sensitive observations, only 2 galaxies have robust redshift identifications, one from its Lyalpha emission line at z=6.65, the other from its Lyman-break, i.e. the continuum discontinuity at the Lyalpha wavelength consistent with a redshift 6.42, but with no emission line. In addition, for 23 galaxies we present deep limits in the Lyalpha EW derived from the non detections in ultra-deep observations. Using this new data as well as previous samples, we assemble a total of 68 candidate z~7 galaxies with deep spectroscopic observations, of which 12 have a line detection. With this much enlarged sample we can place solid constraints on the declining fraction of Ly$\alpha$ emission in z~7 Lyman break galaxies compared to z~6, both for bright and faint galaxies. Applying a simple analytical model, we show that the present data favor a patchy reionization process rather than a smooth one.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2014; 793(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using new spectroscopic observations obtained as part of the VIMOS Ultra-Deep Survey (VUDS), we perform a systematic search for overdense environments in the early universe ($z>2$) and report here on the discovery of Cl J0227-0421, a massive proto-cluster at $z=3.29$. This proto-cluster is characterized by both the large overdensity of spectroscopically confirmed members, $\delta_{gal}=10.5\pm2.8$, and a significant overdensity in photometric redshift members. The halo mass of this proto-cluster is estimated, by a variety of methods, to be roughly $3\times10^{14}$ $\mathcal{M}_{\odot}$ at $z\sim3.3$, which, evolved to $z=0$ results in a halo mass rivaling or exceeding that of the Coma cluster. The properties of 19 spectroscopically confirmed member galaxies are compared with a large sample of VUDS/VVDS galaxies in lower density field environments at similar redshifts. We find tentative evidence for an excess of redder, brighter, and more massive galaxies within the confines of the proto-cluster relative to the field population, which suggests that we may be observing the beginning of environmentally-induced quenching. The properties of these galaxies are investigated, including a discussion of the brightest proto-cluster galaxy which appears to be undergoing vigorous coeval nuclear and starburst activity. The remaining member galaxies appear to have characteristics which are largely similar to the field population. Though we find weaker evidence of the suppression of the median star formation rates amongst and differences in stacked spectra of member galaxies with respect to the field, we defer any conclusions of these trends to future work with the ensemble of proto-structures that are found in the full VUDS sample.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS), a spectroscopic redshift survey of ~10.000 very faint galaxies to study the major phase of galaxy assembly 2<z<~6. The survey covers 1 deg^2 in 3 separate fields: COSMOS, ECDFS and VVDS-02h, with targets selection based on an inclusive combination of photometric redshifts and color properties. Spectra covering 3650<lambda<9350 A are obtained with VIMOS on the ESO-VLT with integration times of 14h. Here we present the survey strategy, the target selection, the data processing, as well as the redshift measurement process, emphasizing the specific methods adapted to this high redshift range. The spectra quality and redshift reliability are discussed, and we derive a completeness in redshift measurement of 91%, or 74% for the most reliable measurements, down to i_AB=25, and measurements are performed all the way down to i_AB=27. The redshift distribution of the main sample peaks at z=3-4 and extends over a large redshift range mainly in 2 < z < 6. At 3<z<5, the galaxies cover a large range of luminosities -23< M_U < -20.5, stellar mass 10^9 M_sun< M_star < 10^{11} M_sun, and star formation rates 1 M_sun/yr< SFR < 10^3 M_sun/yr. We discuss the spectral properties of galaxies using individual as well as stacked spectra. The comparison between spectroscopic and photometric redshifts as well as color selection demonstrate the effectiveness of our selection scheme. With ~6000 galaxies with reliable spectroscopic redshifts in 2<z<6 expected when complete, this survey is the largest at these redshifts and offers the opportunity for unprecedented studies of the star-forming galaxy population and its distribution in large scale structures during the major phase of galaxy assembly.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. The aim of this work is to constrain the evolution of the fraction of Lya emitters among UV selected star forming galaxies at 2<z<6, and to measure the stellar escape fraction of Lya photons over the same redshift range. Methods. We exploit the ultradeep spectroscopic observations collected by the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS) to build an unique, complete and unbiased sample of 4000 spectroscopically confirmed star forming galaxies at 2<z<6. Our galaxy sample UV luminosities brighter than M* at 2<z<6, and luminosities down to one magnitude fainter than M* at 2<z<3.5. Results. We find that 80% of the star forming galaxies in our sample have EW0(Lya)<10A, and correspondingly fesc(Lya)<1%. By comparing these results with literature, we conclude that the bulk of the Lya luminosity at 2<z<6 comes from galaxies that are fainter in the UV than those we sample in this work. The strong Lya emitters constitute, at each redshift, the tail of the distribution of the galaxies with extreme EW0(Lya) and fesc(Lya) . This tail of large EW0 and fesc(Lya) becomes more important as the redshift increases, and causes the fraction of Lya with EW0> 25A to increase from 5% at z=2 to 30% at z=6, with the increase being relatively stronger beyond z=4. We observe no difference, for the narrow range of UV luminosities explored in this work, between the fraction of strong Lya emitters among galaxies fainter or brighter than M*, although the fraction for the FUV faint galaxies evolves faster, at 2<z<3.5, than for the bright ones. We do observe an anticorrelation between E(B-V) and fesc(Lya): generally galaxies with high fesc(Lya) have also small amounts of dust (and viceversa). However, when the dust content is low (E(B-V)<0.05) we observe a very broad range of fesc(Lya), ranging from 10^-3 to 1. This implies that the dust alone is not the only regulator of the amount of escaping Lya photons.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] We characterise a massive proto-cluster at z=2.895 that we found in the COSMOS field using the spectroscopic sample of the VIMOS Ultra-Deep Survey (VUDS). This is one of the rare structures at z~3 not identified around AGNs or radio galaxies, so it is an ideal laboratory to study galaxy formation in dense environments. The structure comprises 12 galaxies with secure spectroscopic redshift in an area of 7'x8', in a z bin of Dz=0.016. The measured galaxy number overdensity is delta_g=12+/-2. This overdensity has total mass of M~8.1x10^(14)M_sun in a volume of 13x15x17 Mpc^3. Simulations indicate that such an overdensity at z~2.9 is a proto-cluster that will collapse in a cluster of total mass M~2.5x10^(15)M_sun at z=0. We compare the properties of the galaxies within the overdensity with a control sample at the same redshift but outside the overdensity. We did not find any statistically significant difference between the properties (stellar mass, SFR, sSFR, NUV-r, r-K) of the galaxies inside and outside the overdensity. The stacked spectrum of galaxies in the background of the overdensity shows a significant absorption feature at the wavelength of Lya redshifted at z=2.895 (lambda=4736 A), with a rest frame EW = 4+/- 1.4 A. Stacking only background galaxies without intervening sources at z~2.9 along their line of sight, we find that this absorption feature has a rest frame EW of 10.8+/-3.7 A, with a detection S/N of ~4. We verify that this measurement is not likely to be due to noise fluctuations. These EW values imply a high column density (N(HI)~3-20x10^(19)cm^(-2)), consistent with a scenario where such absorption is due to intervening cold streams of gas, that are falling into the halo potential wells of the proto-cluster galaxies.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of 31 low-luminosity (-14.5 < M_{AB}(B) < -18.8), extreme emission line galaxies (EELGs) at 0.3 < z < 0.9 identified by their unusually high rest-frame equivalent widths (100 < EW[OIII] < 1700 A) as part of the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS). VIMOS optical spectra of unprecedented sensitivity ($I_{AB}$ ~ 25 mag) along with multiwavelength photometry and HST imaging are used to investigate spectrophotometric properties of this unique sample and explore, for the first time, the very low stellar mass end (M* < 10^8 M$_{\odot}$) of the luminosity-metallicity (LZR) and mass-metallicity (MZR) relations at z < 1. Characterized by their extreme compactness (R50 < 1 kpc), low stellar mass and enhanced specific star formation rates (SFR/M* ~ 10^{-9} - 10^{-7} yr^{-1}), the VUDS EELGs are blue dwarf galaxies likely experiencing the first stages of a vigorous galaxy-wide starburst. Using T_e-sensitive direct and strong-line methods, we find that VUDS EELGs are low-metallicity (7.5 < 12+log(O/H) < 8.3) galaxies with high ionization conditions i.e. median OIII/OII = 4 (\pm 5). Moreover, we find at least three objects showing HeII 4686A emission and four EELGs of extremely low metallicities (<10% solar). The LZR and MZR followed by EELGs are broadly consistent with the extrapolation toward low mass of these relations from previous studies at similar redshift. However, we find evidences that galaxies with younger and more vigorous star formation -- as characterized by their larger Hbeta and [OIII] EWs, sSFR and higher ionization parameters -- tend to be more metal-poor at a given luminosity and stellar mass. These results are discussed in the context of the fundamental metallicity relation linking mass metallicity and SFR.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the LBT/MODS1 spectroscopic confirmation of two images of faint Lyα emitters at z = 6.4 behind the Frontier Fields galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745. A wide range of lens models suggests that the two images are highly magnified, with a strong lower limit of μ > 5. These are the faintest z > 6 candidates spectroscopically confirmed to date. These may also be multiple images of the same z = 6.4 source as supported by their similar intrinsic properties, but the lens models are inconclusive regarding this interpretation. To be cautious, we derive the physical properties of each image individually. Thanks to the high magnification, the observed near-infrared (restframe ultraviolet) part of the spectral energy distributions and Lyα lines are well detected with S/N(m 1500) >~ 10 and S/N(Lyα) ~= 10-15. Adopting μ > 5, the absolute magnitudes, M 1500, and Lyα fluxes are fainter than ─18.7 and 2.8 × 10─18 erg s─1 cm─2, respectively. We find a very steep ultraviolet spectral slope β = ─3.0 ± 0.5 (F λ = λβ), implying that these are very young, dust-free, and low metallicity objects, made of standard stellar populations or even extremely metal poor stars (age <~ 30 Myr, E(B ─ V) = 0 and metallicity 0.0-0.2 Z/Z ☉). The objects are compact (<1 kpc2) and with a stellar mass M sstarf < 108 M ☉. The very steep β, the presence of the Lyα line, and the intrinsic FWHM (<300 km s─1) of these newborn objects do not exclude a possible leakage of ionizing radiation. We discuss the possibility that such faint galaxies may resemble those responsible for cosmic reionization.The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University; and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.
    02/2014; 783(1).
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the star formation histories (SFHs) of high redshift (3 z 5) star-forming galaxies selected based on their rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) colors in the CANDELS/GOODS-S field. By comparing the results from the spectral-energy-distribution-fitting analysis with two different assumptions about the SFHs—i.e., exponentially declining SFHs as well as increasing ones, we conclude that the SFHs of high-redshift star-forming galaxies increase with time rather than exponentially decline. We also examine the correlations between the star formation rates (SFRs) and the stellar masses. When the galaxies are fit with rising SFRs, we find that the trend seen in the data qualitatively matches the expectations from a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation. The mean specific SFR is shown to increase with redshift, also in agreement with the theoretical prediction. From the derived tight correlation between stellar masses and SFRs, we derive the mean SFH of star-forming galaxies in the redshift range of 3 ≤ z ≤ 5, which shows a steep power-law (with power α = 5.85) increase with time. We also investigate the formation timescales and mean stellar population ages of these star-forming galaxies. Our analysis reveals that UV-selected star-forming galaxies have a broad range of the formation redshift. The derived stellar masses and the stellar population ages show positive correlation in a sense that more massive galaxies are on average older, but with significant scatter. This large scatter implies that the galaxies' mass is not the only factor which affects the growth or star formation of high-redshift galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2014; 783(2):81. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We derive physical properties of 10 submillimeter galaxies located in the CANDELS coverage of the GOODS-S field. The galaxies were first identified as submillimeter sources with the LABOCA bolometer and subsequently targeted for 870um continuum observation with ALMA. The high angular resolution of the ALMA imaging allows secure counterparts to be identified in the CANDELS multiband dataset. The CANDELS data provide deep photometric data from UV through near-infrared wavelengths. Using synthetic spectral energy distributions, we derive photometric redshifts, stellar masses, extinction, ages, and the star formation history. The redshift range is z=1.65-4.76, with two of the galaxies located at z>4. Two SMG counterparts have stellar masses 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than the rest. The remaining SMG counterparts have stellar masses around 1x10^11 Msun. The stellar population in the SMGs is typically older than the expected duration of the submillimeter phase, suggesting that the star formation history of submillimeter galaxies is more complex than a single burst. Non-parametric morphology indices suggest that the SMG counterparts are among the most asymmetric systems compared with galaxies of the same stellar mass and redshift. The HST images shows that 3 of the SMGs are associated with on-going mergers. The remaining counterparts are isolated. Estimating the dust and molecular gas mass from the submm fluxes, and comparing with our stellar masses shows that the molecular gas mass fraction of SMGs is ~28% and that the final stellar mass is likely to be (1-2)x10^11 Msun.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Evolution of Lyman-alpha line provides an unique probe of the neutral fraction of hydrogen in the Intergalactic medium and hence the reionization history of the universe. Here we present results from extremely deep spectroscopic observations of redshift ~8 galaxies, obtained from the MOSFIRE instrument. We find that the observed Lyman-alpha fraction at 8 is at least a factor of three lower compared with the 6 Lyman-alpha fraction. This suggests that the universe is significantly neutral at 8 and the reionization is not complete until at this redshift. In addition, we test for two different scenarios of reionization : Patchy vs Smooth. We find that in order to distinguish between these two models we require a larger sample of spectroscopic observations-- even non-detections will be able to distinguish between the two models.
    01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the LBT/MODS1 spectroscopic confirmation of two images of faint Lyman alpha emitters at z=6.4 behind the Frontier Fields galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745. A wide range of lens models suggests that the two images are highly magnified, with a strong lower limit of mu>5. These are the faintest z>6 candidates spectroscopically confirmed to date. These may be also multiple images of the same z=6.4 source as supported by their similar intrinsic properties, but the lens models are inconclusive regarding this interpretation. To be cautious, we derive the physical properties of each image individually. Thanks to the high magnification, the observed near-infrared (restframe ultraviolet) part of the spectral energy distributions and Lya lines are well detected with S/N(m_1500)>~10 and S/N(Lya)~10-15. Adopting mu > 5, the absolute magnitudes, M_1500, and Lya fluxes, are fainter than -18.7 and 2.8x10^-18 erg/s/cm2, respectively. We find a very steep ultraviolet spectral slope beta=-3.0+/-0.5 (F_lambda=lambda^beta), implying that these are very young, dust-free and low metallicity objects, made of standard stellar populations or even extremely metal poor stars (age <~ 30 Myr, E(B-V)=0 and metallicity 0.0 - 0.2 Z/Z_solar). The objects are compact (< 1 kpc^2), and with a stellar mass M* < 10^8 M_solar. The presence of the Lya line and the intrinsic FWHM (<300 km/s) of these newborn objects do not exclude a possible leakage of ionizing radiation. We discuss the possibility that such faint galaxies may resemble those responsible for cosmic reionization.
    12/2013;

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Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Astronomy
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
    • The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Poona, Mahārāshtra, India
  • 2013
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1993–2013
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • University of California Observatories
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2011
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
      • Department Physics and Astronomy
      New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Institute for Astronomy (IfA)
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • Honolulu University
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
    • Paris Diderot University
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2007
    • National Optical Astronomy Observatory
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2006–2007
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Spitzer Science Center
      Pasadena, California, United States
  • 2001
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
  • 1998
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States