Benjamin J. Weiner

The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

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Publications (204)957.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We measure the intrinsic relation between velocity dispersion (σ) and luminosity (L) for massive, luminous red galaxies at redshift z ∼ 0.55. We achieve unprecedented precision by using a sample of 600 000 galaxies with spectra from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), covering a range of stellar masses M* ≳ 1011 M⊙. We deconvolve the effects of photometric errors, limited spectroscopic signal-to-noise ratio, and red–blue galaxy confusion using a novel hierarchical Bayesian formalism that is generally applicable to any combination of photometric and spectroscopic observables. For an L–σ relation of the form L ∝ σβ, we find β = 7.8 ± 1.1 for σ corrected to the effective radius, and a very small intrinsic scatter of s = 0.047 ± 0.004 in log10σ at fixed L. No significant redshift evolution is found for these parameters. The evolution of the zero-point within the redshift range considered is consistent with the passive evolution of a galaxy population that formed at redshift z = 2–3, assuming single stellar populations. An analysis of previously reported results seems to indicate that the passively evolved high-mass L–σ relation at z ∼ 0.55 is consistent with the one measured at z = 0.1. Our results, in combination with those presented in the LF work of Montero-Dorta et al., provide a detailed description of the high-mass end of the red sequence (RS) at z ∼ 0.55. This characterization, in the light of previous literature, suggest that the high-mass RS distribution corresponds to the ‘core’ elliptical population.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We have acquired Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Very Large Telescope near-infrared spectra and images of supernova (SN) Refsdal after its discovery as an Einstein cross in Fall 2014. The HST light curve of SN Refsdal matches the distinctive, slowly rising light curves of SN 1987A-like supernovae (SNe), and we find strong evidence for a broad H-alpha P-Cygni profile in the HST grism spectrum at the redshift (z = 1.49) of the spiral host galaxy. SNe IIn, powered by circumstellar interaction, could provide a good match to the light curve of SN Refsdal, but the spectrum of a SN IIn would not show broad and strong H-alpha absorption. From the grism spectrum, we measure an H-alpha expansion velocity consistent with those of SN 1987A-like SNe at a similar phase. The luminosity, evolution, and Gaussian profile of the H-alpha emission of the WFC3 and X-shooter spectra, separated by ~2.5 months in the rest frame, provide additional evidence that supports the SN 1987A-like classification. In comparison with other examples of SN 1987A-like SNe, SN Refsdal has a blue B-V color and a high luminosity for the assumed range of potential magnifications. If SN Refsdal can be modeled as a scaled version of SN 1987A, we estimate it would have an ejecta mass of 20+-5 solar masses. The evolution of the light curve at late times will provide additional evidence about the potential existence of any substantial circumstellar material (CSM). Using MOSFIRE and X-shooter spectra, we estimate a subsolar host-galaxy metallicity (8.3+-0.1 dex and <8.4 dex, respectively) near the explosion site.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first year of Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the unique supernova (SN) 'Refsdal', a gravitationally lensed SN at z=1.488 +- 0.001 with multiple images behind the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.6+2223. The first four observed images of SN Refsdal (images S1-S4) exhibited a slow rise (over ~150 days) to reach a broad peak brightness around 20 April, 2015. Using a set of light curve templates constructed from the family of SN 1987A-like peculiar Type II SNe, we measure time delays for the four images relative to S1 of 4+-4 (for S2), 2+-5 (S3), and 24+-7 days (S4). The measured magnification ratios relative to S1 are 1.15+-0.05 (S2), 1.01+-0.04 (S3), and 0.34+-0.02 (S4). We find, however, that none of the template light curves fully captures the photometric behavior of SN Refsdal, so we also derive complementary measurements for these parameters using polynomials to represent the intrinsic light curve shape. These more flexible fits deliver fully consistent time delays of 7+-2 days (S2), 0.6+-3 days (S3), and 27+-8 days (S4). The lensing magnification ratios are similarly consistent, measured as 1.17+-0.02 (S2), 1.00+-0.01 (S3), and 0.38+-0.02 (S4).} We compare these measurements against published predictions from lens models, and find that the majority of model predictions are in very good agreement with our measurements. Finally, we discuss avenues for future improvement of time delay measurements -- both for SN Refsdal and for other strongly lensed SNe yet to come.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: In Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging taken on 10 November 2014, four images of supernova (SN) 'Refsdal' (z = 1.49) appeared in an Einstein-cross--like configuration (images S1-S4) around an early-type galaxy in the cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 (z = 0.54). The gravitational potential of the cluster creates three full images of the star-forming host galaxy of the SN. Almost all lens models of the cluster have predicted that the SN should reappear within approximately one year in a second host-galaxy image, offset by ~8" from the previous images. In HST observations taken on 11 December 2015, we find a new source that we interpret as a new image of SN Refsdal. This marks the first time the appearance of a SN at a particular time and location in the sky was successfully predicted in advance! We use these data and the light curve from the first four observed images of SN Refsdal to place constraints on the relative time delay and magnification of the new image (SX), compared to images S1-S4. This enables us, for the first time, to test lens model predictions of both magnifications and time delays for a lensed SN. We find that the timing and brightness of the new image are consistent with the blind predictions of a fraction of the models. The reappearance illustrates the discriminatory power of this blind test and its utility to uncover sources of systematic uncertainty in the lens models. From planned HST photometry, we expect to reach a precision of 1-2% on the relative time delay between S1-S4 and SX.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of photometric redshift accuracy in the 3D-HST photometric catalogs, using 3D-HST grism redshifts to quantify and dissect trends in redshift accuracy for galaxies brighter than $H_{F140W}<24$ with an unprecedented and representative high-redshift galaxy sample. We find an average scatter of $0.0197\pm0.0003(1+z)$ in the Skelton et al. (2014) photometric redshifts. Photometric redshift accuracy decreases with magnitude and redshift, but does not vary monotonically with color or stellar mass. The 1-$\sigma$ scatter lies between $0.01-0.03$(1+z) for galaxies of all masses and colors below $z<2.5$ (for $H_{F140W}{<}24$), with the exception of a population of very red ($U-V > 2$), dusty star-forming galaxies for which the scatter increases to $\sim0.1(1+z)$. Although the overall photometric redshift accuracy for quiescent galaxies is better than for star-forming galaxies, scatter depends more strongly on magnitude and redshift than on galaxy type. We verify these trends using the redshift distributions of close pairs and extend the analysis to fainter objects, where photometric redshift errors further increase to $\sim0.046(1+z)$ at $H_{F160W}=26$. We demonstrate that photometric redshift accuracy is strongly filter-dependent and quantify the contribution of multiple filter combinations. We evaluate the widths of redshift probability distribution functions and find that error estimates are underestimated by a factor of $\sim1.1-1.6$, but that uniformly broadening the distribution does not adequately account for fitting outliers. Finally, we suggest possible applications of these data in planning for current and future surveys and simulate photometric redshift performance in the LSST, DES, and combined DES and VHS surveys.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015
  • Yun-Hsin Huang · Hsiao-Wen Chen · Sean D. Johnson · Benjamin J. Weiner
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    ABSTRACT: We report a definitive detection of chemically enriched cool gas around massive quiescent galaxies at z ≈ 0.4–0.7. The result is based on a survey of 37 621 luminous red galaxy (LRG)-quasi-stellar object pairs in SDSS DR12 with projected distance d < 500 kpc. The LRGs are characterized by a predominantly old stellar population (age ≳ 1 Gyr) with 13 per cent displaying [O ii] emission features and LINER-like spectra. Both passive and [O ii]-emitting LRGs share the same stellar mass distribution with a mean of 〈log (M*/M⊙)〉 ≈ 11.4 and a dispersion of 0.2 dex. Both LRG populations exhibit associated strong Mg ii absorbers out to d < 500 kpc. The mean gas covering fraction at d ≲ 120 kpc is $\langle \kappa \rangle _{\rm Mg\,\small {II}} > 15$ per cent and declines quickly to $\langle \kappa \rangle _{\rm Mg\,\small {II}} \approx 5$ per cent at d ≲ 500 kpc. No clear dependence on stellar mass is detected for the observed Mg ii absorption properties. The observed velocity dispersion of Mg ii-absorbing gas relative to either passive or [O ii]-emitting LRGs is merely 60 per cent of what is expected from virial motion in these massive haloes. While no apparent azimuthal dependence is seen for $\langle \kappa \rangle _{\rm Mg\,\small {II}}$ around passive LRGs at all radii, a modest enhancement in $\langle \kappa \rangle _{\rm Mg\,\small {II}}$ is detected along the major axis of [O ii]-emitting LRGs at d < 50 kpc. The suppressed velocity dispersion of Mg ii-absorbing gas around both passive and [O ii]-emitting LRGs, together with an elevated $\langle \kappa \rangle _{\rm Mg\,\small {II}}$ along the major axis of [O ii]-emitting LRGs at d < 50 kpc, provides important insights into the origin of the observed chemically enriched cool gas in LRG haloes. We consider different scenarios and conclude that the observed Mg ii absorbers around LRGs are best explained by a combination of cool clouds formed in thermally unstable LRG haloes and satellite accretion through filaments.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We derive the total cold gas, atomic hydrogen, and molecular gas masses of approximately 24 000 galaxies covering four decades in stellar mass at redshifts 0.5 < z < 3.0, taken from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey survey. Our inferences are based on the inversion of a molecular hydrogen based star formation law, coupled with a prescription to separate atomic and molecular gas. We find that: (1) there is an increasing trend between the inferred cold gas (H i and H2), H i, and H2 mass and the stellar mass of galaxies down to stellar masses of 108 M⊙ already in place at z = 3; (2) the molecular fractions of cold gas increase with increasing stellar mass and look-back time; (3) there is hardly any evolution in the mean H i content of galaxies at fixed stellar mass; (4) the cold gas fraction and relative amount of molecular hydrogen in galaxies decrease at a relatively constant rate with time, independent of stellar mass; (5) there is a large population of low stellar mass galaxies dominated by atomic gas. These galaxies are very gas rich, but only a minor fraction of their gas is molecular; 6) the ratio between star formation rate (SFR) and inferred total cold gas mass (H i + H2) of galaxies (i.e. star formation efficiency; SFE) increases with star formation at fixed stellar masses. Due to its simplicity, the presented approach is valuable to assess the impact of selection biases on small samples of directly observed gas masses and to extend scaling relations down to stellar mass ranges and redshifts that are currently difficult to probe with direct measurements of gas content.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a complete census of all 263 Herschel-detected sources within the HST Frontier Fields (HFF), a deep multi-filter HST programme covering six massive lensing clusters. We provide a robust legacy catalogue of Herschel fluxes, primarily based on imaging from the Herschel Lensing Survey (HLS) and PEP/HerMES Key Programmes. Photometry is derived via a simultaneous PSF-fit using priors from archival Spitzer imaging. We optimally combine Herschel, Spitzer and WISE infrared (IR) photometry with data from HST, VLA and ground-based observatories, identifying optical counterparts to gain source redshifts. Hence for each Herschel-detected source we also present magnification factor (mu), intrinsic IR luminosity and characteristic dust temperature, providing a comprehensive view of dust-obscured star formation within the HFF. We demonstrate the utility of our catalogues through an exploratory overview of HST morphologies for the IR-bright population. In particular we briefly describe the highest redshift (z>2.5) and most magnified (mu>4) sources in the gravitationally lensed background.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Do spatial distributions of dust grains in galaxies have typical forms, as do spatial distributions of stars? We investigate whether or not the distributions resemble uniform foreground screens, as commonly assumed by the high-redshift galaxy community. We use rest-frame infrared, ultraviolet, and H$\alpha$ line luminosities of dust-poor and dusty galaxies at z ~ 0 and z ~ 1 to compare measured H$\alpha$ escape fractions with those predicted by the Calzetti attenuation formula. The predictions, based on UV escape fractions, overestimate the measured H$\alpha$ escape fractions for all samples. The interpretation of this result for dust-poor z ~ 0 galaxies is that regions with ionizing stars have more dust than regions with nonionizing UV-emitting stars. Dust distributions for these galaxies are nonuniform. The interpretation of the overestimates for dusty galaxies at both redshifts is less clear. If the attenuation formula is inapplicable to these galaxies, perhaps the disagreements are unphysical; perhaps dust distributions in these galaxies are uniform. If the attenuation formula does apply, then dusty galaxies have nonuniform dust distributions; the distributions are more uniform than they are in dust-poor galaxies. A broad range of H$\alpha$ escape fractions at a given UV escape fraction for z ~ 1 dusty galaxies, if real, indicates diverse dust morphologies and the implausibility of the screen assumption.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We study the stellar mass Tully–Fisher relation (TFR; stellar mass versus rotation velocity) for a morphologically blind selection of emission line galaxies in the field at redshifts 0.1 < z < 0.375. Kinematics (σg, Vrot) are measured from emission lines in Keck/DEIMOS spectra and quantitative morphology is measured from V- and I-band Hubble images. We find a transition stellar mass in the TFR, log M*/M⊙ = 9.5. Above this mass, nearly all galaxies are rotation dominated, on average more morphologically disc-like according to quantitative morphology, and lie on a relatively tight TFR. Below this mass, the TFR has significant scatter to low rotation velocity and galaxies can either be rotation-dominated discs on the TFR or asymmetric or compact galaxies which scatter off. We refer to this transition mass as the ‘mass of disc formation’, Mdf because above it all star-forming galaxies form discs (except for a small number of major mergers and highly star-forming systems), whereas below it a galaxy may or may not form a disc.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the intrinsic Faber-Jackson (F-J) relation between velocity dispersion $\sigma$ and luminosity $L$ for massive, luminous red galaxies (LRGs) at redshift z~0.55. We achieve unprecedented precision by using a sample of 600,000 galaxies with spectra from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III). We deconvolve the effects of photometric errors, limited spectroscopic signal-to-noise ratio, and red--blue galaxy confusion using a novel hierarchical Bayesian formalism that is generally applicable to any combination of photometric and spectroscopic observables. For a F-J relation of the form $L \propto \sigma^{\beta}$, we find $\beta = 7.8 \pm 1.1$ for $\sigma$ corrected to the effective radius. We find a very small intrinsic scatter of $s = 0.047 \pm 0.004$ in $\log_{10} \sigma$ at fixed $L$. Assuming plausible stellar population models, our measurements are consistent with no evolution in the parameters of the F-J relation over the range 0.5 < z < 0.7 covered by the sample. The steep F-J slope indicates that the scaling relations for the most massive LRGs are systematically different than the relations defined at lower masses, and the small scatter suggests that these galaxies more closely approximate a one-parameter family than their less massive counterparts. The curvature of the F-J relation has been observed previously in lower-mass and/or smaller galaxy samples; this new work provides a definitive measurement of the high-mass limit of the relation. Our results reinforce a picture in which the formation of LRGs is primarily driven by major dissipationless mergers.
    Preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We combine HST/WFC3 imaging and G141 grism observations from the CANDELS and 3D-HST surveys to produce a catalog of grism spectroscopic redshifts for galaxies in the CANDELS/GOODS-South field. The WFC3/G141 grism spectra cover a wavelength range of 1.1<lambda<1.7 microns with a resolving power of R~130 for point sources, thus providing rest-frame optical spectra for galaxies out to z~3.5. The catalog is selected in the H-band (F160W) and includes both galaxies with and without previously published spectroscopic redshifts. Grism spectra are extracted for all H-band detected galaxies with H<24 and a CANDELS photometric redshift z_phot > 0.6. The resulting spectra are visually inspected to identify emission lines and redshifts are determined using cross-correlation with empirical spectral templates. To establish the accuracy of our redshifts, we compare our results against high-quality spectroscopic redshifts from the literature. Using a sample of 411 control galaxies, this analysis yields a precision of sigma_NMAD=0.0028 for the grism-derived redshifts, which is consistent with the accuracy reported by the 3D-HST team. Our final catalog covers an area of 153 square arcmin and contains 1019 redshifts for galaxies in GOODS-S. Roughly 60% (608/1019) of these redshifts are for galaxies with no previously published spectroscopic redshift. These new redshifts span a range of 0.677 < z < 3.456 and have a median redshift of z=1.282. The catalog contains a total of 234 new redshifts for galaxies at z>1.5. In addition, we present 20 galaxy pair candidates identified for the first time using the grism redshifts in our catalog, including four new galaxy pairs at z~2, nearly doubling the number of such pairs previously identified.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · The Astronomical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The third generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) took data from 2008 to 2014 using the original SDSS wide-field imager, the original and an upgraded multi-object fiber-fed optical spectrograph, a new near-infrared high-resolution spectrograph, and a novel optical interferometer. All the data from SDSS-III are now made public. In particular, this paper describes Data Release 11 (DR11) including all data acquired through 2013 July, and Data Release 12 (DR12) adding data acquired through 2014 July (including all data included in previous data releases), marking the end of SDSS-III observing. Relative to our previous public release (DR10), DR12 adds one million new spectra of galaxies and quasars from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) over an additional 3000 sq. deg of sky, more than triples the number of H-band spectra of stars as part of the Apache Point Observatory (APO) Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), and includes repeated accurate radial velocity measurements of 5500 stars from the Multi-Object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The APOGEE outputs now include measured abundances of 15 different elements for each star. In total, SDSS-III added 5200 sq. deg of ugriz imaging; 155,520 spectra of 138,099 stars as part of the Sloan Exploration of Galactic Understanding and Evolution 2 (SEGUE-2) survey; 2,497,484 BOSS spectra of 1,372,737 galaxies, 294,512 quasars, and 247,216 stars over 9376 sq. deg; 618,080 APOGEE spectra of 156,593 stars; and 197,040 MARVELS spectra of 5,513 stars. Since its first light in 1998, SDSS has imaged over 1/3 the Celestial sphere in five bands and obtained over five million astronomical spectra.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    ABSTRACT: We present the public release of the stellar mass catalogs for the GOODS-S and UDS fields obtained using some of the deepest near-IR images available, achieved as part of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) project. We combine the effort from ten different teams, who computed the stellar masses using the same photometry and the same redshifts. Each team adopted their preferred fitting code, assumptions, priors, and parameter grid. The combination of results using the same underlying stellar isochrones reduces the systematics associated with the fitting code and other choices. Thanks to the availability of different estimates, we can test the effect of some specific parameters and assumptions on the stellar mass estimate. The choice of the stellar isochrone library turns out to have the largest effect on the galaxy stellar mass estimates, resulting in the largest distributions around the median value (with a semi interquartile range larger than 0.1 dex). On the other hand, for most galaxies, the stellar mass estimates are relatively insensitive to the different parameterizations of the star formation history. The inclusion of nebular emission in the model spectra does not have a significant impact for the majority of galaxies (less than a factor of 2 for ~80% of the sample). Nevertheless, the stellar mass for the subsample of young galaxies (age < 100 Myr), especially in particular redshift ranges (e.g., 2.2 < z < 2.4, 3.2 < z < 3.6, and 5.5 < z < 6.5), can be seriously overestimated (by up to a factor of 10 for < 20 Myr sources) if nebular contribution is ignored.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Galaxies with stellar masses near M* contain the majority of stellar mass in the universe, and are therefore of special interest in the study of galaxy evolution. The Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31) have present day stellar masses near M*, at 5x10^10 Msol (MW-mass) and 10^11 Msol (M31-mass). We study the typical progenitors of these galaxies using ZFOURGE, a deep medium-band near-IR imaging survey, which is sensitive to the progenitors of these galaxies out to z~3. We use abundance-matching techniques to identify the main progenitors of these galaxies at higher redshifts. We measure the evolution in the stellar mass, rest-frame colors, morphologies, far-IR luminosities, and star-formation rates combining our deep multiwavelength imaging with near-IR HST imaging from CANDELS, and far-IR imaging from GOODS-H and CANDELS-H. The typical MW-mass and M31-mass progenitors passed through the same evolution stages, evolving from blue, star-forming disk galaxies at the earliest stages, to redder dust-obscured IR-luminous galaxies in intermediate stages, and to red, more quiescent galaxies at their latest stages. The progenitors of the MW-mass galaxies reached each evolutionary stage at later times (lower redshifts) and with stellar masses that are a factor of 2-3 lower than the progenitors of the M31-mass galaxies. The process driving this evolution, including the suppression of star-formation in present-day M* galaxies requires an evolving stellar-mass/halo-mass ratio and/or evolving halo-mass threshold for quiescent galaxies. The effective size and star-formation rates imply that the baryonic cold-gas fractions drop as galaxies evolve from high redshift to z~0 and are strongly anticorrelated with an increase in the S\'ersic index. Therefore, the growth of galaxy bulges in M* galaxies corresponds to a rapid decline in the galaxy gas fractions and/or a decrease in the star-formation efficiency.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the first multiply-imaged gravitationally-lensed supernova. The four images form an Einstein cross with over 2" diameter around a z=0.544 elliptical galaxy that is a member of the cluster MACSJ1149.6+2223. The supernova appeared in Hubble Space Telescope exposures taken on 3-20 November 2014 UT, as part of the Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space. The images of the supernova coincide with the strongly lensed arm of a spiral galaxy at z=1.491, which is itself multiply imaged by the cluster potential. A measurement of the time delays between the multiple images and their magnification will provide new unprecedented constraints on the distribution of luminous and dark matter in the lensing galaxy and in the cluster, as well as on the cosmic expansion rate.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: We present clustering measurements and halo masses of star forming galaxies at 0.2 < z < 1.0. After excluding AGN, we construct a sample of 22553 24 {\mu}m sources selected from 8.42 deg^2 of the Spitzer MIPS AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey of Bo\"otes. Mid-infrared imaging allows us to observe galaxies with the highest star formation rates (SFRs), less biased by dust obscuration afflicting the optical bands. We find that the galaxies with the highest SFRs have optical colors which are redder than typical blue cloud galaxies, with many residing within the green valley. At z > 0.4 our sample is dominated by luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs, L_TIR > 10^11 Lsun) and is comprised entirely of LIRGs and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs, L_TIR > 10^12 Lsun) at z > 0.6. We observe weak clustering of r_0 = 3-6 Mpc/h for almost all of our star forming samples. We find that the clustering and halo mass depend on L_TIR at all redshifts, where galaxies with higher L_TIR (hence higher SFRs) have stronger clustering. Galaxies with the highest SFRs at each redshift typically reside within dark matter halos of M_halo ~ 10^12.9 Msun/h. This is consistent with a transitional halo mass, above which star formation is largely truncated, although we cannot exclude that ULIRGs reside within higher mass halos. By modeling the clustering evolution of halos, we connect our star forming galaxy samples to their local descendants. Most star forming galaxies at z < 1.0 are the progenitors of L < 2.5L* blue galaxies in the local universe, but star forming galaxies with the highest SFRs (L_TIR >10^11.7 Lsun) at 0.6<z<1.0 are the progenitors of early-type galaxies in denser group environments.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

10k Citations
957.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007-2015
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 2013
    • Tel Aviv University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Siena College
      • Department Physics and Astronomy
      Troy, New York, United States
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2008-2013
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Physics and Astronomy
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • University of California Observatories
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2006-2009
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Astronomy
      College Park, MD, United States
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Los Angeles, California, United States
    • University of Mary
      Bismarck, North Dakota, United States
  • 2002-2008
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 1999-2000
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      • Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 1996
    • Columbia College
      Columbia, South Carolina, United States