Ivelina Momcheva

Academia Sinica, T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan

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Publications (64)241.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. The MOSDEF survey aims to obtain moderate-resolution (R=3000-3650) rest-frame optical spectra (~3700-7000 Angstrom) for ~1500 galaxies at 1.37<z<3.80 in three well-studied CANDELS fields: AEGIS, COSMOS, and GOODS-N. Targets are selected in three redshift intervals: 1.37<z<1.70, 2.09<z<2.61, and 2.95<z<3.80, down to fixed H_AB (F160W) magnitudes of 24.0, 24.5 and 25.0, respectively, using the photometric and spectroscopic catalogs from the 3D-HST survey. We target both strong nebular emission lines (e.g., [OII], Hbeta, [OIII], 5008, Halpha, [NII], and [SII]) and stellar continuum and absorption features (e.g., Balmer lines, Ca-II H and K, Mgb, 4000 Angstrom break). Here we present an overview of our survey, the observational strategy, the data reduction and analysis, and the sample characteristics based on spectra obtained during the first 24 nights. To date, we have completed 21 masks, obtaining spectra for 591 galaxies. For ~80% of the targets we identify and measure multiple emission or absorption lines. In addition, we confirm 55 additional galaxies, which were serendipitously detected. The MOSDEF galaxy sample includes unobscured star-forming, dusty star-forming, and quiescent galaxies and spans a wide range in stellar mass (~10^9-10^11.5 Msol) and star formation rate (~0-10^4 Msol/yr). The spectroscopically confirmed sample is roughly representative of an H-band limited galaxy sample at these redshifts. With its large sample size, broad diversity in galaxy properties, and wealth of available ancillary data, MOSDEF will transform our understanding of the stellar, gaseous, metal, dust, and black hole content of galaxies during the time when the universe was most active.
    12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Interpreting observations of distant galaxies in terms of constraints on physical parameters - such as stellar mass, star-formation rate (SFR) and dust optical depth - requires spectral synthesis modelling. We analyse the reliability of these physical parameters as determined under commonly adopted `classical' assumptions: star-formation histories assumed to be exponentially declining functions of time, a simple dust law and no emission-line contribution. Improved modelling techniques and data quality now allow us to use a more sophisticated approach, including realistic star-formation histories, combined with modern prescriptions for dust attenuation and nebular emission (Pacifici et al. 2012). We present a Bayesian analysis of the spectra and multi-wavelength photometry of 1048 galaxies from the 3D-HST survey in the redshift range 0.7<z<2.8 and in the stellar mass range 9<log(M/Mo)<12. We find that, using the classical spectral library, stellar masses are systematically overestimated (~0.1 dex) and SFRs are systematically underestimated (~0.6 dex) relative to our more sophisticated approach. We also find that the simultaneous fit of photometric fluxes and emission-line equivalent widths helps break a degeneracy between SFR and optical depth of the dust, reducing the uncertainties on these parameters. Finally, we show how the biases of classical approaches can affect the correlation between stellar mass and SFR for star-forming galaxies (the `Star-Formation Main Sequence'). We conclude that the normalization, slope and scatter of this relation strongly depend on the adopted approach and demonstrate that the classical, oversimplified approach cannot recover the true distribution of stellar mass and SFR.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Using a sample of 299 Ha-selected galaxies at z~0.8, we study the relationship between galaxy stellar mass, gas-phase metallicity, and star formation rate (SFR), and compare to previous results. We use deep optical spectra obtained with the IMACS spectrograph at the Magellan telescope to measure strong oxygen lines. We combine these spectra and metallicities with (1) rest-frame UV-to-optical imaging, which allows us to determine stellar masses and dust attenuation corrections, and (2) Ha narrowband imaging, which provides a robust measure of the instantaneous SFR. Our sample spans stellar masses of 10^9 to 6*10^11 solar masses, SFRs of 0.4 to 270 solar masses per year, and metal abundances of 12+log(O/H)~8.3-9.1 (~0.4-2.6 solar metallicity). The correlations that we find between the Ha-based SFR and stellar mass (i.e., the star-forming "main sequence"), and between the stellar mass and metallicity, are both consistent with previous z~1 studies of star-forming galaxies. We then study the relationship between the three properties using various plane-fitting techniques (Lara-Lopez et al.) and a curve-fitting projection (Mannucci et al.). In all cases, we exclude strong dependence of the M-Z relation on SFR, but are unable to distinguish between moderate and no dependence. Our results are consistent with previous mass-metallicity-SFR studies. We check whether dataset limitations may obscure a strong dependence on the SFR by using mock samples drawn from the SDSS. These experiments reveal that the adopted signal-to-noise cuts may have a significant effect on the measured dependence. Further work is needed to investigate these results, and to test whether a "fundamental metallicity relation" or a "fundamental plane" describes star-forming galaxies across cosmic time.
    10/2014;
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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 use CANDELS imaging, 3D-HST spectroscopy, and Chandra X-ray data to investigate if active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are preferentially fueled by violent disk instabilities funneling gas into galaxy centers at 1.3<z<2.4. We select galaxies undergoing gravitational instabilities using the number of clumps and degree of patchiness as proxies. The CANDELS visual classification system is used to identify 44 clumpy disk galaxies, along with mass-matched comparison samples of smooth and intermediate morphology galaxies. We note that, despite being being mass-matched and having similar star formation rates, the smoother galaxies tend to be smaller disks with more prominent bulges compared to the clumpy galaxies. The lack of smooth extended disks is probably a general feature of the z~2 galaxy population, and means we cannot directly compare with the clumpy and smooth extended disks observed at lower redshift. We find that z~2 clumpy galaxies have slightly enhanced AGN fractions selected by integrated line ratios (in the mass-excitation method), but the spatially resolved line ratios indicate this is likely due to extended phenomena rather than nuclear AGNs. Meanwhile the X-ray data show that clumpy, smooth, and intermediate galaxies have nearly indistinguishable AGN fractions derived from both individual detections and stacked non-detections. The data demonstrate that AGN fueling modes at z~1.85 - whether violent disk instabilities or secular processes - are as efficient in smooth galaxies as they are in clumpy galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 793(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dense interiors of massive galaxies are among the most intriguing environments in the universe. In this paper,we ask when these dense cores were formed and determine how galaxies gradually assembled around them. We select galaxies that have a stellar mass >3 × 1010M ☉ inside r = 1 kpc out to z = 2.5, using the 3D-HST survey and data at low redshift. Remarkably, the number density of galaxies with dense cores appears to have decreased from z = 2.5 to the present. This decrease is probably mostly due to stellar mass loss and the resulting adiabatic expansion, with some contribution from merging. We infer that dense cores were mostly formed at z > 2.5, consistent with their largely quiescent stellar populations. While the cores appear to form early, the galaxies in which they reside show strong evolution: their total masses increase by a factor of 2-3 from z = 2.5 to z = 0 and their effective radii increase by a factor of 5-6. As a result, the contribution of dense cores to the total mass of the galaxies in which they reside decreases from ~50% at z = 2.5 to ~15% at z = 0. Because of their early formation, the contribution of dense cores to the total stellar mass budget of the universe is a strong function of redshift. The stars in cores with M 1 kpc > 3 × 1010M ☉ make up ~0.1% of the stellar mass density of the universe today but 10%-20% at z ~ 2, depending on their initial mass function. The formation of these cores required the conversion of ~1011M ☉ of gas into stars within ~1 kpc, while preventing significant star formation at larger radii.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 791(1):45. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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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 constrain the slope of the star formation rate ($\log\Psi$) to stellar mass ($\log\mathrm{M_{\star}}$) relation down to $\log(\mathrm{M_{\star}/M_{\odot}})=8.4$ ($\log(\mathrm{M_{\star}/M_{\odot}})=9.2$) at $z=0.5$ ($z=2.5$) with a mass-complete sample of 39,106 star-forming galaxies selected from the 3D-HST photometric catalogs, using deep photometry in the CANDELS fields. For the first time, we find that the slope is dependent on stellar mass, such that it is steeper at low masses ($\log\mathrm{\Psi}\propto\log\mathrm{M_{\star}}$) than at high masses ($\log\mathrm{\Psi}\propto(0.3-0.6)\log\mathrm{M_{\star}}$). These steeper low mass slopes are found for three different star formation indicators: the combination of the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR), calibrated from a stacking analysis of Spitzer/MIPS 24$\mu$m imaging; $\beta$-corrected UV SFRs; and H$\alpha$ SFRs. The normalization of the sequence evolves differently in distinct mass regimes as well: for galaxies less massive than $\log(\mathrm{M_{\star}/M_{\odot}})<10$ the specific SFR ($\Psi/\mathrm{M_{\star}}$) is observed to be roughly self-similar with $\Psi/\mathrm{M_{\star}}\propto(1+z)^{1.9}$, whereas more massive galaxies show a stronger evolution with $\Psi/\mathrm{M_{\star}}\propto(1+z)^{2.2-3.5}$ for $\log(\mathrm{M_{\star}/M_{\odot}})=10.2-11.2$. The fact that we find a steep slope of the star formation sequence for the lower mass galaxies will help reconcile theoretical galaxy formation models with the observations. The results of this study support the analytical conclusions of Leja et al. (2014).
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2014; 795(2). · 6.73 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: We present near-infrared spectroscopy of a sample of 22 Extreme Emission Line Galaxies at redshifts 1.3 < z < 2.3, confirming that these are low-mass (M* = 10^8 - 10^9 M_sun) galaxies undergoing intense starburst episodes (M*/SFR ~ 10-100 Myr). The sample is selected by [O III] or H{\alpha} emission line flux and equivalent width using near-infrared grism spectroscopy from the 3D-HST survey. High-resolution NIR spectroscopy is obtained with LBT/LUCI and VLT/X-SHOOTER. The [O III]/H{\beta} line ratio is high (> 5) and [N II]/H{\alpha} is always significantly below unity, which suggests a low gas-phase metallicity. We are able to determine gas-phase metallicities for 7 of our objects using various strong-line methods, with values in the range 0.05-0.30 Z_sun and with a median of 0.15 Z_sun; for 3 of these objects we detect [O III]{\lambda}4363 which allows for a direct constraint on the metallicity. The velocity dispersion, as measured from the nebular emission lines, is typically ~50 km/s. Combined with the observed star-forming activity, the Jeans and Toomre stability criteria imply that the gas fraction must be large (> 2/3), consistent with the difference between our dynamical and stellar mass estimates. The implied gas depletion time scale (several hundred Myr) is substantially longer than the inferred mass-weighted ages (~50 Myr), which further supports the emerging picture that most stars in low-mass galaxies form in short, intense bursts of star formation.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 791(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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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 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: We identify a strong lensing galaxy in the cluster IRC 0218 (also known as XMM-LSS J02182-05102) that is spectroscopically confirmed to be at $z=1.62$, making it the highest-redshift strong lens galaxy known. The lens is one of the two brightest cluster galaxies and lenses a background source galaxy into an arc and a counterimage. With Hubble Space Telescope grism and Keck/LRIS spectroscopy, we measure the source redshift to be $z_{\rm S}=2.26$. Using HST imaging in ACS/F475W, ACS/F814W, WFC3/F125W, and WFC3/F160W, we model the lens mass distribution with an elliptical power-law profile and account for the effects of the cluster halo and nearby galaxies. The Einstein radius is $\theta_{\rm E}=0.38^{+0.02}_{-0.01}$'' ($3.2_{-0.1}^{+0.2}$ kpc) and the total enclosed mass is M$_{\rm tot} (< \theta_{\rm E})=1.8^{+0.2}_{-0.1}\times10^{11} {\rm M}_{\odot}$. We estimate that the cluster environment contributes $\sim10$% of this total mass. Assuming a Chabrier IMF, the dark matter fraction within $\theta_{{\rm E}}$ is $f_{\rm DM}^{{\rm Chab}} = 0.3_{-0.3}^{+0.1}$, while a Salpeter IMF is marginally inconsistent with the enclosed mass ($f_{\rm DM}^{{\rm Salp}} = -0.3_{-0.5}^{+0.2}$). The total magnification of the source is $\mu_{\rm tot}=2.1_{-0.3}^{+0.4}$. The source has at least one bright compact region offset from the source center. Emission from Ly$\alpha$, [O II], and [O III] may also probe different regions in the source.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 05/2014; 789(2). · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dense interiors of massive galaxies are among the most intriguing environments in the Universe. In this paper we ask when these dense cores were formed and determine how galaxies gradually assembled around them. We select galaxies that have a stellar mass >3x10^10 Msun inside r=1 kpc out to z=2.5, using the 3D-HST survey and data at low redshift. The number density of galaxies with dense cores appears to have decreased from z=2.5 to the present, probably at least in part due to stellar mass loss and the resulting adiabatic expansion. We infer that dense cores were mostly formed at z>2.5, consistent with their largely quiescent stellar populations. While the cores appear to form early, the galaxies in which they reside show strong evolution: their total masses increase by a factor of 2-3 from z=2.5 to z=0 and their effective radii increase by a factor of 5-6. As a result, the contribution of dense cores to the total mass of the galaxies in which they reside decreases from ~50% at z=2.5 to ~15% at z=0. Because of their early formation, the contribution of dense cores to the total stellar mass budget of the Universe is a strong function of redshift. The stars in cores with M(1 kpc)>3x10^10 Msun make up ~0.1% of the stellar mass density of the Universe today but 10% - 20% at z=2, depending on their IMF. The formation of these cores required the conversion of ~10^11 Msun of gas into stars within ~1 kpc, while preventing significant star formation at larger radii.
    04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Spectroscopic + photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift range $0<z<3$. Separating early- and late-type galaxies on the basis of star-formation activity, we confirm that early-type galaxies are on average smaller than late-type galaxies at all redshifts, and find a significantly different rate of average size evolution at fixed galaxy mass, with fast evolution for the early-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-1.48}$, and moderate evolution for the late-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-0.75}$. The large sample size and dynamic range in both galaxy mass and redshift, in combination with the high fidelity of our measurements due to the extensive use of spectroscopic data, not only fortify previous results, but also enable us to probe beyond simple average galaxy size measurements. At all redshifts the slope of the size-mass relation is shallow, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.22}$, for late-type galaxies with stellar mass $>3\times 10^{9}~M_{\odot}$, and steep, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.75}$, for early-type galaxies with stellar mass $>2\times 10^{10}~M_{\odot}$. The intrinsic scatter is $\lesssim$0.2 dex for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric, but skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive ($\sim 10^{11}~M_{\odot}$), compact ($R_{\rm{eff}} < 2$kpc) early-type galaxies increases from $z=3$ to $z=1.5-2$ and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.
    04/2014; 788(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The dense interiors of massive galaxies are among the most intriguing environments in the Universe. In this paper we ask when these dense cores were formed and determine how galaxies gradually assembled around them. We select galaxies that have a stellar mass >3x10^10 Msun inside r=1 kpc out to z=2.5, using the 3D-HST survey and data at low redshift. The number density of galaxies with dense cores appears to have decreased from z=2.5 to the present, probably at least in part due to stellar mass loss and the resulting adiabatic expansion. We infer that dense cores were mostly formed at z>2.5, consistent with their largely quiescent stellar populations. While the cores appear to form early, the galaxies in which they reside show strong evolution: their total masses increase by a factor of 2-3 from z=2.5 to z=0 and their effective radii increase by a factor of 5-6. As a result, the contribution of dense cores to the total mass of the galaxies in which they reside decreases from ~50% at z=2.5 to ~15% at z=0. Because of their early formation, the contribution of dense cores to the total stellar mass budget of the Universe is a strong function of redshift. The stars in cores with M(1 kpc)>3x10^10 Msun make up ~0.1% of the stellar mass density of the Universe today but 10% - 20% at z=2, depending on their IMF. The formation of these cores required the conversion of ~10^11 Msun of gas into stars within ~1 kpc, while preventing significant star formation at larger radii.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The 3D-HST and CANDELS programs have obtained WFC3 and ACS spectroscopy and imaging over five fields, comprising a total area of ~900 sq. arcmin: AEGIS, COSMOS, GOODS-North, GOODS-South, and the UKIDSS UDS field. All these fields have a wealth of publicly available imaging datasets in addition to the HST data, which makes it possible to construct the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of objects over a wide wavelength range. In this paper we describe a photometric analysis of the CANDELS and 3D-HST HST imaging and the ancillary imaging data at wavelengths 0.3um -8um. Objects were selected in the WFC3 near-IR bands, and their SEDs were determined by carefully taking the effects of the point spread function into account. A total of 147 distinct imaging datasets were used in the analysis. The photometry is made available in the form of six catalogs: one for each field, as well as a master catalog containing all objects in the entire survey. We also provide derived data products: photometric redshifts, determined with the EAZY code, and stellar population parameters determined with the FAST code. We make all the imaging data that were used in the analysis available, including our reductions of the WFC3 imaging in all five fields. 3D-HST is a spectroscopic survey with the WFC3 and ACS grisms, and the photometric catalogs presented here constitute a necessary first step in the analysis of these grism data. In a companion paper (I. Momcheva et al., in preparation) we present line diagnostics and improved redshifts from an analysis of the combination of the photometry with the grism spectra. All the data presented in this paper are available through the 3D-HST website.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 03/2014; 214(2). · 16.24 Impact Factor
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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 present direct observational evidence for star formation quenching in galaxy groups in the redshift range 0<z<2.5. We utilize a large sample of nearly 6000 groups, selected by fixed cumulative number density from three photometric catalogs, to follow the evolving quiescent fractions of central and satellite galaxies over roughly 11 Gyr. At z~0, central galaxies in our sample range in stellar mass from Milky Way/M31 analogs (M=6.5x10^10 M\solar) to nearby massive ellipticals (M=1.5x10^11 M\solar). Satellite galaxies in the same groups reach masses as low as twice that of the Large Magellanic Cloud (M=6.5x10^9 M\solar). Using statistical background subtraction, we measure the average rest-frame colors of galaxies in our groups and calculate the evolving quiescent fractions of centrals and satellites over seven redshift bins. Our analysis shows clear evidence for star formation quenching in group halos, with a different quenching onset for centrals and their satellite galaxies. Using halo mass estimates for our central galaxies, we find that star formation shuts off in centrals when typical halo masses reach between 10^12 and 10^13 M\solar, consistent with predictions from the halo quenching model. In contrast, satellite galaxies in the same groups most likely undergo quenching by environmental processes, whose onset is delayed with respect to their central galaxy. Although star formation is suppressed in all galaxies over time, the processes that govern quenching are different for centrals and satellites. While mass plays an important role in determining the star formation activity of central galaxies, quenching in satellite galaxies is dominated by the environment in which they reside.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 789(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NewHα narrowband imaging survey, combined with deep follow-up spectroscopy with Magellan-IMACS, provides both Hα and rest-frame optical emission lines for sources at z˜0.8—an uncommon combination for previous surveys at such redshifts. We use observations for ˜100 galaxies to estimate global galactic properties, including stellar mass (M*), star formation rate (SFR), and gas-phase metallicity (12+log[O/H]). Star formation rates are measured using Hα fluxes (and compared to estimates from SED fitting that include rest-frame far UV fluxes), while gas-phase metallicities are estimated from optical emission line fluxes using a range of standard calibrations. We compare our mass-metallicity relation and mass-SFR relation (known as the “star formation main sequence”) with literature results. We also combine the three parameters and examine whether the “Fundamental Metallicity Relation” exists and is consistent with previous results based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Implications for galaxy evolution are discussed.
    01/2014;

Publication Stats

290 Citations
241.46 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Academia Sinica
      • Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
    • South African Astronomical Observatory
      Kaapstad, Western Cape, South Africa
    • Tufts University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Georgia, United States
  • 2012–2014
    • Yale University
      • Department of Astronomy
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Wyoming
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Laramie, WY, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Department of Astronomy
      Austin, Texas, United States
  • 2005–2008
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States