Yu Lu

Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (31)143.41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We measure the evolution of the quiescent fraction and quenching efficiency of satellites around star-forming and quiescent central galaxies with stellar mass $\log(M_{\mathrm{cen}}/M_{\odot})>10.5$ at $0.3<z<2.5$. We combine imaging from three deep near-infrared-selected surveys (ZFOURGE/CANDELS, UDS, and UltraVISTA), which allows us to select a stellar-mass complete sample of satellites with $\log(M_{\mathrm{sat}}/M_{\odot})>9.3$. Satellites for both star-forming and quiescent central galaxies have higher quiescent fractions compared to field galaxies matched in stellar mass at all redshifts. We also observe "galactic conformity": satellites around quiescent centrals are more likely to be quenched compared to the satellites around star-forming centrals. In our sample, this conformity signal is significant at $\gtrsim3\sigma$ for $0.6<z<1.6$, whereas it is only weakly significant at $0.3<z<0.6$ and $1.6<z<2.5$. Therefore, conformity (and therefore satellite quenching) has been present for a significant fraction of the age of the universe. The satellite quenching efficiency increases with increasing stellar mass of the central, but does not appear to depend on the stellar mass of the satellite to the mass limit of our sample. When we compare the satellite quenching efficiency of star-forming centrals with stellar masses 0.2 dex higher than quiescent centrals (which should account for any difference in halo mass), the conformity signal decreases, but remains statistically significant at $0.6<z<0.9$. This is evidence that satellite quenching is connected to the star-formation properties of the central as well as to the mass of the halo. We discuss physical effects that may contribute to galactic conformity, and emphasize that they must allow for continued star-formation in the central galaxy even as the satellites are quenched.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present galaxy stellar mass functions (GSMFs) at $z=$ 4-8 from a rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) selected sample of $\sim$4,500 galaxies, found via photometric redshifts over an area of $\sim$280 arcmin$^2$ in the CANDELS/GOODS fields and the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The deepest Spitzer/IRAC data yet-to-date from the Spitzer-CANDELS (26.5 mag, 3$\sigma$) and the IRAC Ultra Deep Field 2010 (26.4-27.1 mag, 3$\sigma$) surveys allow us to place robust constraints on the low-mass-end slope of the GSMFs, while the relatively large volume provides a better constraint at higher masses compared to previous space-based studies. Supplemented by a stacking analysis, we find a linear correlation between the rest-frame UV absolute magnitude at 1500\AA\ ($M_{\rm UV}$) and logarithmic stellar mass ($\log M_*$). We use simulations to validate our method of measuring the slope of the $\log M_*$-$M_{\rm UV}$ relation, finding that the bias is minimized with a hybrid technique combining photometry of individual bright galaxies with stacked photometry for faint galaxies. The resultant measured slopes do not significantly evolve over $z=$ 4-8, while the normalization of the trend exhibits a weak evolution towards lower masses at higher redshift for galaxies at fixed $M_{\rm UV}$. We combine the $\log M_*$-$M_{\rm UV}$ distribution with observed rest-frame UV luminosity functions at each redshift to derive the GSMFs. While we see no evidence of an evolution in the characteristic mass $M^*$, we find that the low-mass-end slope becomes steeper with increasing redshift from $\alpha=-1.53^{+0.07}_{-0.06}$ at $z=4$ to $\alpha=-2.45^{+0.34}_{-0.29}$ at $z=8$. The inferred stellar mass density, when integrated over $M_*=10^8$-$10^{13} M_{\odot}$, increases by a factor of $13^{+35}_{-9}$ between $z=7$ and $z=4$ and is in good agreement with the time integral of the cosmic star-formation rate density.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we perform a comprehensive study of the main sources of random and systematic errors in stellar mass measurement for galaxies using their Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs). We use mock galaxy catalogs with simulated multi-waveband photometry (from U-band to mid-infrared) and known redshift, stellar mass, age and extinction for individual galaxies. Given different parameters affecting stellar mass measurement (photometric S/N ratios, SED fitting errors, systematic effects, the inherent degeneracies and correlated errors), we formulated different simulated galaxy catalogs to quantify these effects individually. We studied the sensitivity of stellar mass estimates to the codes/methods used, population synthesis models, star formation histories, nebular emission line contributions, photometric uncertainties, extinction and age. For each simulated galaxy, the difference between the input stellar masses and those estimated using different simulation catalogs, $\Delta\log(M)$, was calculated and used to identify the most fundamental parameters affecting stellar masses. We measured different components of the error budget, with the results listed as follows: (1). no significant bias was found among different codes/methods, with all having comparable scatter; (2). A source of error is found to be due to photometric uncertainties and low resolution in age and extinction grids; (3). The median of stellar masses among different methods provides a stable measure of the mass associated with any given galaxy; (4). The deviations in stellar mass strongly correlate with those in age, with a weaker correlation with extinction; (5). the scatter in the stellar masses due to free parameters are quantified, with the sensitivity of the stellar mass to both the population synthesis codes and inclusion of nebular emission lines studied.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    Yu Lu · H. J. Mo · Zhankui Lu
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    ABSTRACT: Using a semi-analytical approach we investigate the characteristics of predictions for the masses and metallicities of the baryonic matter in and around galaxies made by three galaxy formation models. These models represent three different feedback scenarios: one model with purely ejective feedback, one model with ejective feedback with reincorporation of ejected gas, and one preventative model. We find that, when the model parameters are adjusted to predict the correct stellar masses for a range of halo masses between 10^{10} to 10^{12}Msun, these three scenarios have very different predictions for the masses and metallicities of the interstellar and circum-galactic media. Compared with current observational data, the model implementing preventative feedback has a large freedom to match a broad range of observational data, while the ejective models have difficulties to match a number of observational constraints simultaneously, independent of how the ejection and reincorporation are implemented. Our results suggest that the feedback process which regulates the amounts of stars and cold gas in low-mass galaxies is preventative in nature.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Currently-proposed galaxy quenching mechanisms predict very different behaviours during major halo mergers, ranging from significant quenching enhancement (e.g., clump-induced gravitational heating models) to significant star formation enhancement (e.g., gas starvation models). To test real galaxies' behaviour, we present an observational galaxy pair method for selecting galaxies whose host haloes are preferentially undergoing major mergers. Applying the method to central L* (10^10 Msun < M* < 10^10.5 Msun) galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) at z<0.06, we find that major halo mergers can at most modestly reduce the star-forming fraction, from 59% to 47%. Consistent with past research, however, mergers accompany enhanced specific star formation rates for star-forming L* centrals: ~10% when a paired galaxy is within 200 kpc (approximately the host halo's virial radius), climbing to ~70% when a paired galaxy is within 30 kpc. No evidence is seen for even extremely close pairs (<30 kpc separation) rejuvenating star formation in quenched galaxies. For galaxy formation models, our results suggest: (1) quenching in L* galaxies likely begins due to decoupling of the galaxy from existing hot and cold gas reservoirs, rather than a lack of available gas or gravitational heating from infalling clumps, (2) state-of-the-art semi-analytic models currently over-predict the effect of major halo mergers on quenching, and (3) major halo mergers can trigger enhanced star formation in non-quenched central galaxies.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Distant star-forming galaxies show a correlation between their star formation rates (SFRs) 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 ≤ z ≤ 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 ~ with a =0.54 ± 0.16 at z ~ 6 and 0.70 ± 0.21 at z ~ 4. This evolution requires a star formation history that increases with decreasing redshift (on average, the SFRs of individual galaxies rise with time). The observed scatter in the SFR-stellar mass relation is tight, σ(log SFR/M ☉ yr-1) < 0.3-0.4 dex, for galaxies with log M /M ☉ > 9 dex. Assuming that the SFR is tied to the net gas inflow rate (SFR ~ ), 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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We request 2026.5 hours to homogenize the matching ultra-deep IRAC data of the UltraVISTA ultra-deep stripes, producing a final area of ~0.6 square degrees with the deepest near- and mid-IR coverage existing in any such large area of the sky (H, Ks, [3.6], [4.5] ~ 25.3-26.1 AB mag; 5 sigma). The UltraVISTA ultra-deep stripes are contained within the larger COSMOS field, which has a rich collection of multi-wavelength, ancillary data, making it ideal to study different aspects of galaxy evolution with high statistical significance and excellent redshift accuracy. The UltraVISTA ultra-deep stripes are the region of the COSMOS field where these studies can be pushed to the highest redshifts, but securely identifying high-z galaxies, and determining their stellar masses, will only be possible if ultra-deep mid-IR data are available. Our IRAC observations will allow us to: 1) extend the galaxy stellar mass function at redshifts z=3 to z=5 to the intermediate mass regime (M~5x10^9-10^10 Msun), which is critical to constrain galaxy formation models; 2) gain a factor of six in the area where it is possible to effectively search for z>=6 galaxies and study their properties; 3) measure, for the first time, the large-scale structure traced by an unbiased galaxy sample at z=5 to z=7, and make the link to their host dark matter haloes. This cannot be done in any other field of the sky, as the UltraVISTA ultra-deep stripes form a quasi-contiguous, regular-shape field, which has a unique combination of large area and photometric depth. 4) provide a unique resource for the selection of secure z>5 targets for JWST and ALMA follow up. Our observations will have an enormous legacy value which amply justifies this new observing-time investment in the COSMOS field. Spitzer cannot miss this unique opportunity to open up a large 0.6 square-degree window to the early Universe.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Although giant clumps of stars are crucial to galaxy formation and evolution, the most basic demographics of clumps are still uncertain, mainly because the definition of clumps has not been thoroughly discussed. In this paper, we study the basic demographics of clumps in star-forming galaxies (SFGs) at 0.5<z<3, using our proposed physical definition that UV-bright clumps are discrete star-forming regions that individually contribute more than 8% of the rest-frame UV light of their galaxies. Clumps defined this way are significantly brighter than the HII regions of nearby large spiral galaxies, either individually or blended, when physical spatial resolution and cosmological dimming are considered. Under this definition, we measure the fraction of SFGs that contain at least one off-center clump (Fclumpy) and the contributions of clumps to the rest-frame UV light and star formation rate of SFGs in the CANDELS/GOODS-S and UDS fields, where our mass-complete sample consists of 3239 galaxies with axial ratio q>0.5. The redshift evolution of Fclumpy changes with the stellar mass (M*) of the galaxies. Low-mass (log(M*/Msun)<9.8) galaxies keep an almost constant Fclumpy of about 60% from z~3.0 to z~0.5. Intermediate-mass and massive galaxies drop their Fclumpy from 55% at z~3.0 to 40% and 15%, respectively, at z~0.5. We find that (1) the trend of disk stabilization predicted by violent disk instability matches the Fclumpy trend of massive galaxies; (2) minor mergers are a viable explanation of the Fclumpy trend of intermediate-mass galaxies at z<1.5, given a realistic observability timescale; and (3) major mergers are unlikely responsible for the Fclumpy trend in all masses at z<1.5. The clump contribution to the rest-frame UV light of SFGs shows a broad peak around galaxies with log(M*/Msun)~10.5 at all redshifts, possibly linked to the molecular gas fraction of the galaxies. (Abridged)
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We compare the predictions of three independently developed semi-analytic galaxy formation models (SAMs) that are being used to aid in the interpretation of results from the CANDELS survey. These models are each applied to the same set of halo merger trees extracted from the "Bolshoi" high-resolution cosmological N-body simulation and are carefully tuned to match the local galaxy stellar mass function using the powerful method of Bayesian Inference coupled with Markov Chain Monte Carlo or by hand. The comparisons reveal that in spite of the significantly different parameterizations for star formation and feedback processes, the three models yield qualitatively similar predictions for the assembly histories of galaxy stellar mass and star formation over cosmic time. Comparing SAM predictions with existing estimates of the stellar mass function from z = 0-8, we show that the SAMs generally require strong outflows to suppress star formation in low-mass halos to match the present-day stellar mass function, as is the present common wisdom. However, all of the models considered produce predictions for the star formation rates (SFRs) and metallicities of low-mass galaxies that are inconsistent with existing data. The predictions for metallicity-stellar mass relations and their evolution clearly diverge between the models. We suggest that large differences in the metallicity relations and small differences in the stellar mass assembly histories of model galaxies stem from different assumptions for the outflow mass-loading factor produced by feedback. Importantly, while more accurate observational measurements for stellar mass, SFR and metallicity of galaxies at 1 < z < 5 will discriminate between models, the discrepancies between the constrained models and existing data of these observables have already revealed challenging problems in understanding star formation and its feedback in galaxy formation. The three sets of models are being used to construct catalogs of mock galaxies on light cones that have the same geometry as the CANDELS survey, which should be particularly useful for quantifying the biases and uncertainties on measurements and inferences from the real observations.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    Zhankui Lu · H. J. Mo · Yu Lu
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    ABSTRACT: We use a set of observational data for galaxy cold gas mass fraction and gas phase metallicity to constrain the content, inflow and outflow of gas in central galaxies hosted by haloes with masses between 1011 and 1012 M⊙. The gas contents in high-redshift galaxies are obtained by combining the empirical star formation histories and star formation models that relate star formation rate with the cold gas mass in galaxies. We find that the total baryon mass in low-mass galaxies is always much less than the universal baryon mass fraction since z = 2, regardless of star formation model adopted. The data for the evolution of the gas phase metallicity require net metal outflow at z ≲ 2, and the metal loading factor is constrained to be about 0.01, or about 60 per cent of the metal yield. Based on the assumption that galactic outflow is more enriched in metal than both the interstellar medium and the material ejected at earlier epochs, we are able to put stringent constraints on the upper limits for both the net accretion rate and the net mass outflow rate. The upper limits strongly suggest that the evolution of the gas phase metallicity and gas mass fraction for low-mass galaxies at z < 2 is not compatible with strong outflow. We speculate that the low star formation efficiency of low-mass galaxies is owing to some preventative processes that prevent gas from accreting into galaxies in the first place.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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 ∼ 4, 5, 6 and 7 using data in the CANDELS GOODS South field. The deep near-infrared observations allow us to construct the stellar mass function at z ≥ 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 MUV-M* relation has a shallow slope more consistent with a constant mass-to-light ratio and a normalization which evolves with redshift. Our stellar mass functions have steep low-mass slopes (α ≈ −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 ∼ 7 to 7.36 ± 0.06 M⊙ Mpc− 3 at z ∼ 4. Finally, combining the measured UV continuum slopes (β) with their rest-frame UV luminosities, we calculate dust-corrected star formation rates (SFR) for our sample. We find the specific SFR 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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new technique for overcoming confusion noise in deep far-infrared \Herschel space telescope images making use of prior information from shorter $\lambda<2$\micron wavelengths. For the deepest images obtained by \Herschels, the flux limit due to source confusion is about a factor of three brighter than the flux limit due to instrumental noise and (smooth) sky background. We have investigated the possibility of de-confusing simulated \Herschel PACS-160\micron images by using strong Bayesian priors on the positions and weak priors on the flux of sources. We find the blended sources and group them together and simultaneously fit their fluxes. We derive the posterior probability distribution function of fluxes subject to these priors through Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) sampling by fitting the image. Assuming we can predict FIR flux of sources based on ultraviolet-optical part of their SEDs to within an order of magnitude, the simulations show that we can obtain reliable fluxes and uncertainties at least a factor of three fainter than the confusion noise limit of $3\sigma_{c} $=2.7 mJy in our simulated PACS-160 image. This technique could in principle be used to mitigate the effects of source confusion in any situation where one has prior information of positions and plausible fluxes of blended sources. For \Herschel, application of this technique will improve our ability to constrain the dust content in normal galaxies at high redshift.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Distant star-forming galaxies show a correlation between their star-formation rates (SFR) and stellar masses, and this has deep implications for galaxy formation. Here, we present a study on the evolution of the slope and scatter of the SFR$-$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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We study the statistical distribution of satellites around star-forming and quiescent central galaxies at 1<z<3 using imaging from the FourStar Galaxy Evolution Survey (ZFOURGE) and the Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS). The deep near-IR data select satellites down to $\log(M/M_\odot)>9$ at z<3. The radial satellite distribution around centrals is consistent with a projected NFW profile. Massive quiescent centrals, $\log(M/M_\odot)>10.78$, have $\sim$2 times the number of satellites compared to star-forming centrals with a significance of 2.7$\sigma$ even after accounting for differences in the centrals' stellar-mass distributions. We find no statistical difference in the satellite distributions of intermediate-mass quiescent and star-forming centrals, $10.48<\log(M/M_\odot)<10.78$. Comparing to the Guo2011 semi-analytic model, the excess number of satellites indicates that quiescent centrals have halo masses 0.3 dex larger than star-forming centrals, even when the stellar-mass distributions are fixed. We use a simple toy model that relates halo mass and quenching, which roughly reproduces the observed quenched fractions and the differences in halo mass between star-forming and quenched galaxies only if galaxies have a quenching probability that increases with halo mass from $\sim$0 for $\log(M_h/M_\odot)\sim$11 to $\sim$1 for $\log(M_h/M_\odot)\sim$13.5. A single halo-mass quenching threshold is unable to reproduce the quiescent fraction and satellite distribution of centrals. Therefore, while halo quenching may be an important mechanism, it is unlikely to be the only factor driving quenching. It remains unclear why a high fraction of centrals remain star-forming even in relatively massive halos.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The empirical model of Lu et al. 2014 is updated with recent data and used to study galaxy star formation and assembly histories. At $z > 2$, the predicted galaxy stellar mass functions are steep, and a significant amount of star formation is hosted by low-mass haloes that may be missed in current observations. Most of the stars in cluster centrals formed earlier than $z\approx 2$ but have been assembled much later. Milky Way mass galaxies have had on-going star formation without significant mergers since $z\approx 2$, and are thus free of significant (classic) bulges produced by major mergers. In massive clusters, stars bound in galaxies and scattered in the halo form a homogeneous population that is old and with solar metallicity. In contrast, in Milky Way mass systems the two components form two distinct populations, with halo stars being older and poorer in metals by a factor of $\approx 3$. Dwarf galaxies in haloes with $M_{\rm h} < 10^{11}h^{-1}M_{\odot}$ have experienced a star formation burst accompanied by major mergers at $z > 2$, followed by a nearly constant star formation rate after $z = 1$. The early burst leaves a significant old stellar population that is distributed in spheroids.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a semi-analytic galaxy formation model implementing a self-consistent treatment for the hot halo gas configuration and the assembly of central disks. Using the model, we explore a preventative feedback model, in which the circum-halo medium is assumed to be preheated up to a certain entropy level by early starbursts or other processes, and compare it with an ejective feedback model, in which baryons are first accreted into dark matter halos and subsequently ejected out by feedback. The model demonstrates that when the medium is preheated to an entropy comparable to the halo virial entropy the baryon accretion can be largely reduced and delayed. In addition, the preheated medium can establish an extended low density gaseous halo when it accretes into the dark matter halos, and result in a specific angular momentum of the cooling gas large enough to form central disks as extended as those observed. Combined with simulated halo assembly histories, the preventative feedback model can reproduce remarkably well a number of observational scaling relations. These include the cold baryon (stellar plus cold gas) mass fraction-halo mass relations, star formation histories, disk size-stellar mass relation and its evolution, and the number density of low-mass galaxies as a function of redshift. In contrast, the conventional ejective feedback model fails to reproduce these observational trends. Using the model, we demonstrate that the properties of disk galaxies are closely tied to the thermal state of hot halo gas and even possibly the circum-halo medium, which suggests that observational data for the disk properties and circum-galactic hot/warm medium may jointly provide interesting constraints for galaxy formation models.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We compare the predictions of three independently developed semi-analytic galaxy formation models that are being used to aid in the interpretation of results from the CANDELS survey. These models are each applied to the same set of halo merger trees extracted from the "Bolshoi" simulation and are carefully tuned to match the local galaxy stellar mass function using the powerful method of Bayesian Inference coupled with MCMC or by hand. The comparisons reveal that in spite of the significantly different parameterizations for star formation and feedback processes, the three models yield qualitatively similar predictions for the assembly histories of galaxy stellar mass and star formation over cosmic time. We show that the SAMs generally require strong outflows to suppress star formation in low-mass halos to match the present day stellar mass function. However, all of the models considered produce predictions for the star formation rates and metallicities of low-mass galaxies that are inconsistent with existing data and diverge between the models. We suggest that large differences in the metallicity relations and small differences in the stellar mass assembly histories of model galaxies stem from different assumptions for the outflow mass-loading factor. Importantly, while more accurate observational measurements for stellar mass, SFR and metallicity of galaxies at 1<z<5 will discriminate between models, the discrepancies between the models and existing data of these observables have already revealed challenging problems in understanding star formation and its feedback in galaxy formation. The three sets of models are being used to construct catalogs of mock galaxies on light cones that have the same geometry as the CANDELS survey, which should be particularly useful for quantifying the biases and uncertainties on measurements and inferences from the real observations. -ABRIDGED
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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    ABSTRACT: We infer mechanisms of galaxy formation for a broad family of semi-analytic models (SAMs) constrained by the K-band luminosity function and H i mass function of local galaxies using tools of Bayesian analysis. Even with a broad search in parameter space the whole model family fails to match to constraining data. In the best-fitting models, the star formation and feedback parameters in low-mass haloes are tightly constrained by the two data sets, and the analysis reveals several generic failures of models that similarly apply to other existing SAMs. First, based on the assumption that baryon accretion follows the dark matter accretion, large mass-loading factors are required for haloes with circular velocities lower than 200 km s−1, and most of the wind mass must be expelled from the haloes. Second, assuming that the feedback is powered by Type II supernovae with a Chabrier initial mass function, the outflow requires more than 25 per cent of the available supernova kinetic energy. Finally, the posterior predictive distributions for the star formation history are dramatically inconsistent with observations for masses similar to or smaller than the Milky Way mass. The inferences suggest that the current model family is still missing some key physical processes that regulate the gas accretion and star formation in galaxies with masses below that of the Milky Way.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We find that infalling dark matter halos (i.e., the progenitors of satellite halos) begin losing mass well outside the virial radius of their eventual host halos. The peak mass occurs at a range of clustercentric distances, with median and 68th percentile range of for progenitors of z = 0 satellites. The peak circular velocity for infalling halos occurs at significantly larger distances ( at z = 0). This difference arises because different physical processes set peak circular velocity (typically, ~1:5 and larger mergers which cause transient circular velocity spikes) and peak mass (typically, smooth accretion) for infalling halos. We find that infalling halos also stop having significant mergers well before they enter the virial radius of their eventual hosts. Mergers larger than a 1:40 ratio in halo mass end for infalling halos at similar clustercentric distances (~1.9 R vir, host) as the end of overall mass accretion. However, mergers larger than 1:3 typically end for infalling halos at more than four virial radial away from their eventual hosts. This limits the ability of mergers to affect quenching and morphology changes in clusters. We also note that the transient spikes which set peak circular velocity may lead to issues with abundance matching on that parameter, including unphysical galaxy stellar mass growth profiles near clusters; we propose a simple observational test to check if a better halo proxy for galaxy stellar mass exists.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal