Ivelina Momcheva

Leiden University, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (92)

  • Article · Aug 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present Hα maps at 1 kpc spatial resolution for star-forming galaxies at z ~ 1, made possible by the Wide Field Camera 3 grism on Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Employing this capability over all five 3D-HST/CANDELS fields provides a sample of 3200 galaxies enabling a division into subsamples based on stellar mass and star formation rate (SFR). By creating deep stacked Hα images, we reach surface brightness limits of 1 × 10^(−18) erg s^(−1) cm^(−2) arcsec^(−2), allowing us to map the distribution of ionized gas to ~10 kpc for typical L* galaxies at this epoch. We find that the spatial extent of the Hα distribution increases with stellar mass as r_(Hα) = 1.5(M⋆/10^(10) M⊙)^(0.23) kpc. The Hα emission is more extended than the stellar continuum emission, consistent with inside-out assembly of galactic disks. This effect grows stronger with mass as r_(Hα)/r⋆ = 1.1 (M⋆/10^(10) M⊙)^(0.054). We map the Hα distribution as a function of SFR(IR+UV) and find evidence for "coherent star formation" across the SFR–M * plane: above the main sequence (MS), Hα is enhanced at all radii; below the MS, Hα is depressed at all radii. This suggests that at all masses the physical processes driving the enhancement or suppression of star formation act throughout the disks of galaxies. At high masses (10^(10.5) < M⋆/M⊙ < 10^(11)), above the MS, Hα is particularly enhanced in the center, potentially building bulges and/or supermassive black holes. Below the MS, a strong central dip in the EW(Hα), as well as the inferred specific SFR, appears. Importantly, though, across the entirety of the SFR–M* plane, the absolute SFR as traced by Hα is always centrally peaked, even in galaxies below the MS.
    Article · Aug 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multiplexing capability of slitless spectroscopy is a powerful asset in creating large spectroscopic datasets, but issues such as spectral confusion make the interpretation of the data challenging. Here we present a new method to search for emission lines in the slitless spectroscopic data from the 3D-HST survey utilizing the Wide-Field Camera 3 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. Using a novel statistical technique, we can detect compact (extended) emission lines at 90% completeness down to fluxes of 1.5 (3.0) times 10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2, close to the noise level of the grism exposures, for objects detected in the deep ancillary photometric data. Unlike previous methods, the Bayesian nature allows for probabilistic line identifications, namely redshift estimates, based on secondary emission line detections and/or photometric redshift priors. As a first application, we measure the comoving number density of Extreme Emission Line Galaxies (restframe [O III] 5007 equivalent widths in excess of 500 Angstroms). We find that these galaxies are more than 10 times more common above z~1.5 than at z<0.5. With upcoming large grism surveys such as Euclid and WFIRST, methods like the one presented here will be crucial for constructing emission line redshift catalogs in an automated and well-understood manner.
    Article · Aug 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the relationship between star formation and structure, using a mass-complete sample of 27,893 galaxies at 0.5<z<2.5 selected from 3D-HST. We confirm that, at fixed stellar mass, star-forming galaxies are larger than quiescent galaxies at all redshifts. However, within the star-forming population, there is no relation between star formation rate and size: when dividing star-forming galaxies into quartiles based on their residual offsets in star formation rate, we find that the sizes of galaxies in the highest quartile are 0.27$\pm$0.47 dex larger than galaxies in the lowest quartile, a difference that is not significant. We also show that 50\% of all star formation in galaxies at fixed stellar mass takes place within a narrow range of sizes (0.26 dex). Taken together, these results suggest that there is an abrupt cessation of star formation after galaxies attain particular structural properties. Confirming earlier results, we find that the central stellar density within a fixed physical radius of 1 kpc is the key parameter connecting galaxy morphology and star formation histories: galaxies with high central densities are red and have increasingly lower specific star formation rates, whereas galaxies with low central densities are blue and have a roughly constant (higher) specific star formation rate at a given redshift interval. We find remarkably little scatter in the average trends and a strong evolution in the central density (or equivalently central circular velocity) threshold correlated with quiescence. This quenching threshold decreases by >0.5 dex from z~2 to z~0.7. Neither a compact galaxy size nor a high n are sufficient to assess the likelihood of quiescence for the average galaxy; rather, it is the combination of these two parameters together with stellar mass that results in a unique quenching threshold in central density or velocity.
    Article · Jul 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using the UltraVISTA DR1 and 3D-HST catalogs, we construct a stellar-mass-complete sample, unique for its combination of surveyed volume and depth, to study the evolution of the fractions of quiescent galaxies, moderately unobscured star-forming galaxies, and dusty star-forming galaxies as a function of stellar mass over the redshift interval $0.2 \le z \le 3.0$. We show that the role of dusty star-forming galaxies within the overall galaxy population becomes more important with increasing stellar mass, and grows rapidly with increasing redshift. Specifically, dusty star-forming galaxies dominate the galaxy population with $\log{(M_{\rm star}/M_{\odot})} \gtrsim 10.3$ at $z\gtrsim2$. The ratio of dusty and non-dusty star-forming galaxies as a function of stellar mass changes little with redshift. Dusty star-forming galaxies dominate the star-forming population at $\log{(M_{\rm star}/M_{\odot})} \gtrsim 10.0-10.5$, being a factor of $\sim$3-5 more common, while unobscured star-forming galaxies dominate at $\log{(M_{\rm star}/M_{\odot})} \lesssim 10$. At $\log{(M_{\rm star}/M_{\odot})} > 10.5$, red galaxies dominate the galaxy population at all redshift $z<3$, either because they are quiescent (at late times) or dusty star-forming (in the early universe).
    Article · Jun 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent surveys have identified a seemingly ubiquitous population of galaxies with elevated [OIII]/H$\beta$ emission line ratios at $z > 1$, though the nature of this phenomenon continues to be debated. The [OIII]/H$\beta$ line ratio is of interest because it is a main component of the standard diagnostic tools used to differentiate between active galactic nuclei (AGN) and star-forming galaxies, as well as the gas-phase metallicity indicators $O_{23}$ and $R_{23}$. Here, we investigate the primary driver of increased [OIII]/H$\beta$ ratios by median-stacking rest-frame optical spectra for a sample of star-forming galaxies in the 3D-HST survey in the redshift range $z\sim1.4-2.2$. Using $N = 4220$ star-forming galaxies, we stack the data in bins of mass and specific star formation rates (sSFR) respectively. After accounting for stellar Balmer absorption, we measure [OIII]$\lambda5007$\AA/H$\beta$ down to $\mathrm{M} \sim 10^{9.2} \ \mathrm{M_\odot}$ and sSFR $\sim 10^{-9.6} \ \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$, more than an order of magnitude lower than previous work at similar redshifts. We find an offset of $0.59\pm0.05$ dex between the median ratios at $z\sim2$ and $z\sim0$ at fixed stellar mass, in agreement with existing studies. However, with respect to sSFR, the $z \sim 2$ stacks all lie within 1$\sigma$ of the median SDSS ratios, with an average offset of only $-0.06\pm 0.05$. We find that the excitation properties of galaxies are tightly correlated with their sSFR at both $z\sim2$ and $z\sim0$, with a relation that appears to be roughly constant over the last 10 Gyr of cosmic time.
    Article · Jun 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present low-resolution near-infrared stacked spectra from the 3D-HST survey up to $z=2.0$ and fit them with commonly used stellar population synthesis models: BC03 (Bruzual & Charlot, 2003), FSPS10 (Flexible Stellar Population Synthesis, Conroy & Gunn 2010), and FSPS-C3K (Conroy, Kurucz, Cargile, Castelli, in prep). The accuracy of the grism redshifts allows the unambiguous detection of many emission and absorption features, and thus a first systematic exploration of the rest-frame optical spectra of galaxies up to $z=2$. We select massive galaxies ($\rm log(M_{*} / M_{\odot}) > 10.8$), we divide them into quiescent and star-forming via a rest-frame color-color technique, and we median-stack the samples in 3 redshift bins between $z=0.5$ and $z=2.0$. We find that stellar population models fit the observations well at wavelengths below $\rm 6500 \AA$ rest-frame, but show systematic residuals at redder wavelengths. The FSPS-C3K model generally provides the best fits (evaluated with a $\chi^2_{red}$ statistics) for quiescent galaxies, while BC03 performs the best for star-forming galaxies. The stellar ages of quiescent galaxies implied by the models, assuming solar metallicity, vary from 4 Gyr at $z \sim 0.75$ to 1.5 Gyr at $z \sim 1.75$, with an uncertainty of a factor of 2 caused by the unknown metallicity. On average the stellar ages are half the age of the Universe at these redshifts. We show that the inferred evolution of ages of quiescent galaxies is in agreement with fundamental plane measurements, assuming an 8 Gyr age for local galaxies. For star-forming galaxies the inferred ages depend strongly on the stellar population model and the shape of the assumed star-formation history.
    Article · Apr 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We exploit deep integral-field spectroscopic observations with KMOS/VLT of 240 star-forming disks at 0.6 < z < 2.6 to dynamically constrain their mass budget. Our sample consists of massive ($\gtrsim 10^{9.8} M_\odot$) galaxies with sizes $R_e \gtrsim 2$ kpc. By contrasting the observed velocity and dispersion profiles to dynamical models, we find that on average the stellar content contributes 31% of the total dynamical mass, with a significant spread among galaxies (68th percentile range f_star ~ 16 - 60%). Including molecular gas as inferred from CO- and dust-based scaling relations, the estimated baryonic mass adds up to 63% of total for the typical galaxy in our sample. We conclude that baryons make up most of the mass within the disk regions of high-redshift star-forming galaxies, with nearly all disks at z > 2 being strongly baryon-dominated within $R_e$. Substantial object-to-object variations in both stellar and baryonic mass fractions are observed among the galaxies in our sample, larger than what can be accounted for by the formal uncertainties in their respective measurements. In both cases, the mass fractions correlate most strongly with measures of surface density. High $\Sigma_{star}$ galaxies feature stellar mass fractions closer to unity, and systems with high inferred gas or baryonic surface densities leave less room for additional mass components other than stars and molecular gas. Our findings can be interpreted as more extended disks probing further (and more compact disks probing less far) into the dark matter halos that host them. However, a non-negligible tail of the derived baryonic mass fraction distribution reaching into the unphysical $f_{bar} > 1$ regime may in addition hint at more efficient star formation in high surface density disks than adopted in our methodology.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present Hubble WFC3/IR slitless grism spectra of a remarkably bright z ≥ 10 galaxy candidate, GN-z11, identified initially from CANDELS/GOODS-N imaging data. A significant spectroscopic continuum break is detected at . The new grism data, combined with the photometric data, rule out all plausible lower redshift solutions for this source. The only viable solution is that this continuum break is the Lyα break redshifted to , just ∼400 Myr after the Big Bang. This observation extends the current spectroscopic frontier by 150 Myr to well before the Planck (instantaneous) cosmic reionization peak at z ∼ 8.8, demonstrating that galaxy build-up was well underway early in the reionization epoch at z > 10. GN-z11 is remarkably, and unexpectedly, luminous for a galaxy at such an early time: its UV luminosity is 3 larger than measured at z ∼ 6-8. The Spitzer IRAC detections up to 4.5 μm of this galaxy are consistent with a stellar mass of ∼109Mo-. This spectroscopic redshift measurement suggests that James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to similarly and easily confirm such sources at z > 10 and characterize their physical properties through detailed spectroscopy. Furthermore, WFIRST, with its wide-field near-IR imaging, would find large numbers of similar galaxies and contribute greatly to JWST's spectroscopy, if it is launched early enough to overlap with JWST. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..
    Article · Mar 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present measurements of the [NII]/Ha ratio as a probe of gas-phase oxygen abundance for a sample of 419 star-forming galaxies at z=0.6-2.7 from the KMOS3D near-IR multi-IFU survey. The mass-metallicity relation (MZR) is determined consistently with the same sample selection, metallicity tracer, and methodology over the wide redshift range probed by the survey. We find good agreement with long-slit surveys in the literature, except for the low-mass slope of the relation at z~2.3, where this sample is less biased than previous samples based on optical spectroscopic redshifts. In this regime we measure a steeper slope than some literature results. Excluding the AGN contribution from the MZR reduces sensitivity at the high mass end, but produces otherwise consistent results. There is no significant dependence of the [NII]/Ha ratio on SFR or environment at fixed redshift and stellar mass. The IFU data allow spatially resolved measurements of [NII]/Ha, from which we can infer abundance gradients for 180 galaxies, thus tripling the current sample in the literature. The observed gradients are on average flat, with only 15 gradients statistically offset from zero at >3sigma. We have modelled the effect of beam-smearing, assuming a smooth intrinsic radial gradient and known seeing, inclination and effective radius for each galaxy. Our seeing-limited observations can recover up to 70% of the intrinsic gradient for the largest, face-on disks, but only 30% for the smaller, more inclined galaxies. We do not find significant trends between observed or corrected gradients and any stellar population, dynamical or structural galaxy parameters, mostly in agreement with existing studies with much smaller sample sizes. In cosmological simulations, strong feedback is generally required to produce flat gradients at high redshift.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
  • Ivelina G. Momcheva · Pieter G. van Dokkum · Arjen van der Wel · [...] · Marijn Franx
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a new technique for wide and shallow observations using the near-infrared channel of Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Wide-field near-IR surveys with HST are generally inefficient, as guide star acquisitions make it impractical to observe more than one pointing per orbit. This limitation can be circumvented by guiding with gyros alone, which is possible as long as the telescope has three functional gyros. The method presented here allows us to observe mosaics of eight independent WFC3-IR pointings in a single orbit by utilizing the fact that HST drifts by only a very small amount in the 25 seconds between non-destructive reads of unguided exposures. By shifting the reads and treating them as independent exposures the full resolution of WFC3 can be restored. We use this "drift and shift" (DASH) method in the Cycle 23 COSMOS-DASH program, which will obtain 456 WFC3 $H_{160}$ pointings in 57 orbits, covering an area of 0.6 degree$^2$ in the COSMOS field down to $H_{160} = 25$. When completed, the program will more than triple the area of extra-galactic survey fields covered by near-IR imaging at HST resolution. We demonstrate the viability of the method with the first four orbits (32 pointings) of this program. We show that the resolution of the WFC3 camera is preserved, and that structural parameters of galaxies are consistent with those measured in guided observations.
    Article · Mar 2016
  • Johannes U. Lange · Pieter G. van Dokkum · Ivelina G. Momcheva · [...] · Marijn Franx
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explore the presence of non-stellar rest-frame near-IR (2–5 μm) emission in galaxies at z ~ 1. Previous studies identified this excess in relatively small samples and suggested that such non-stellar emission, which could be linked to the 3.3 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons feature or hot dust emission, is associated with an increased star formation rate (SFR). In this Letter, we confirm and quantify the presence of an IR excess in a significant fraction of galaxies in the 3D-HST GOODS catalogs. By constructing a matched sample of galaxies with and without strong non-stellar near-IR emission, we find that galaxies with such emission are predominantly star-forming galaxies. Moreover, star-forming galaxies with an excess show increased mid- and far-IR and Hα emission compared to other star-forming galaxies without. While galaxies with a near-IR excess show a larger fraction of individually detected X-ray active galactic nuclei (AGNs), an X-ray stacking analysis, together with the IR-colors and Hα profiles, shows that AGNs are unlikely to be the dominant source of excess in the majority of galaxies. Our results suggest that non-stellar near-IR emission is linked to increased SFRs and is ubiquitous among star-forming galaxies. As such, the near-IR emission might be a powerful tool to measure SFRs in the era of the James Webb Space Telescope.
    Article · Feb 2016
  • Erica June Nelson · Pieter G. van Dokkum · Ivelina G. Momcheva · [...] · Rosalind E. Skelton
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We derive average radial gradients in the dust attenuation towards HII regions in 609 galaxies at z~1.4, using measurements of the Balmer decrement out to r~3kpc. The Balmer decrements are derived from spatially resolved maps of Halpha and Hbeta emission from the 3D-HST survey. We find that with increasing stellar mass (M) both the normalization and strength of the gradient in dust attenuation increases. Galaxies with a mean mass of <log(M)> = 9.2Msun have little dust attenuation at all radii, whereas galaxies with <log(M)>= 10.2Msun have dust attenuation toward Halpha A(Halpha)~2mag in their central regions. We parameterize this as A(Halpha) = b + c log(r), with b = 0.9 + 1.0 log(M10), c = -1.9 - 2.2 log(M10), r in kpc, and M10 the stellar mass in units of 10^10Msun. This expression can be used to correct spatially resolved measurements of Halpha to radial distributions of star formation. When applied to our data, we find that the star formation rates in the central r<1kpc of galaxies in the highest mass bin are ~ 6 Msun/yr, six times higher than before correction and approximately half of the total star formation rate of these galaxies. If this high central star formation rate is maintained for several Gyr, a large fraction of the stars in present-day bulges likely formed in-situ.
    Article · Nov 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Article · Oct 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyze the angular momenta of massive star forming galaxies (SFGs) at the peak of the cosmic star formation epoch (z~0.8-2.6). Our sample of ~360 log(M*/Msun) ~ 9.3-11.8 SFGs is mainly based on the KMOS^3D and SINS/zC-SINF surveys of H\alpha\ kinematics, and collectively provides a representative subset of the massive star forming population. The inferred halo scale, angular momentum distribution is broadly consistent with that theoretically predicted for their dark matter halos, in terms of mean spin parameter <\lambda> ~ 0.037 and its dispersion ($\sigma_{log(\lambda)}$~0.2). Spin parameters correlate with the disk radial scale, and with their stellar surface density, but do not depend significantly on halo mass, stellar mass, or redshift. Our data thus support the long-standing assumption that on average the specific angular momentum of early disks reflects that of their dark matter halos (jd = jDM), despite the fact that gas enters the virial radius with substantially higher angular momentum, requiring subsequent angular momentum redistribution. The lack of correlation between \lambda x (jd/jDM) and the nuclear stellar density $\Sigma_{*}$(1kpc) favors that disk-internal angular momentum redistribution leads to "compaction" inside massive high-z disks. The average disk to dark halo mass ratio is ~5%, consistent with recent abundance matching results and implying that our high-z disks are strongly baryon dominated.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    Ivelina G. Momcheva · Gabriel B. Brammer · Pieter G. van Dokkum · [...] · Stijn Wuyts
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present reduced data and data products from the 3D-HST survey, a 248-orbit HST Treasury program. The survey obtained WFC3 G141 grism spectroscopy in four of the five CANDELS fields: AEGIS, COSMOS, GOODS-S, and UDS, along with WFC3 $H_{140}$ imaging, parallel ACS G800L spectroscopy, and parallel $I_{814}$ imaging. In a previous paper (Skelton et al. 2014) we presented photometric catalogs in these four fields and in GOODS-N, the fifth CANDELS field. Here we describe and present the WFC3 G141 spectroscopic data, again augmented with data from GO-1600 in GOODS-N. The data analysis is complicated by the fact that no slits are used: all objects in the WFC3 field are dispersed, and many spectra overlap. We developed software to automatically and optimally extract interlaced 2D and 1D spectra for all objects in the Skelton et al. (2014) photometric catalogs. The 2D spectra and the multi-band photometry were fit simultaneously to determine redshifts and emission line strengths, taking the morphology of the galaxies explicitly into account. The resulting catalog has 98,663 measured redshifts and line strengths down to $JH_{IR}\leq 26$ and 22,548 with $JH_{IR}\leq 24$, where we comfortably detect continuum emission. Of this sample 5,459 galaxies are at $z>1.5$ and 9,621 are at $0.7<z<1.5$, where H$\alpha$ falls in the G141 wavelength coverage. Based on comparisons with ground-based spectroscopic redshifts, and on analyses of paired galaxies and repeat observations, the typical redshift error for $JH_{IR}\leq 24$ galaxies in our catalog is $\sigma_z \approx 0.003 \times (1+z)$, i.e., one native WFC3 pixel. The $3\sigma$ limit for emission line fluxes of point sources is $1.5\times10^{-17}$ ergs s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$. We show various representations of the full dataset, as well as individual examples that highlight the range of spectra that we find in the survey.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well established that (1) star-forming galaxies follow a relation between their star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass (M$_{\star}$), the "star-formation sequence", and (2) the SFRs of galaxies correlate with their structure, where star-forming galaxies are less concentrated than quiescent galaxies at fixed mass. Here, we consider whether the scatter and slope of the star-formation sequence is correlated with systematic variations in the Sersic indices, $n$, of galaxies across the SFR-M$_{\star}$ plane. We use a mass-complete sample of 23,848 galaxies at $0.5<z<2.5$ selected from the 3D-HST photometric catalogs. Galaxy light profiles parameterized by $n$ are based on Hubble Space Telescope CANDELS near-infrared imaging. We use a single SFR indicator empirically-calibrated from stacks of Spitzer/MIPS 24$\mu$m imaging, adding the unobscured and obscured star formation. We find that the scatter of the star-formation sequence is related in part to galaxy structure; the scatter due to variations in $n$ at fixed mass for star-forming galaxies ranges from 0.14$\pm$0.02 dex at $z\sim2$ to 0.30$\pm$0.04 dex at $z<1$. While the slope of the log(SFR)-log(M$_{\star}$) relation is of order unity for disk-like galaxies, galaxies with $n>2$ (implying more dominant bulges) have significantly lower SFR/M$_{\star}$ than the main ridgeline of the star-formation sequence. These results suggest that bulges in massive $z\sim2$ galaxies are actively building up, where the stars in the central concentration are relatively young. At $z<1$, the presence of older bulges within star-forming galaxies lowers global SFR/M$_{\star}$, decreasing the slope and contributing significantly to the scatter of the star-formation sequence.
    Full-text available · Article · Aug 2015
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We spectroscopically survey the galaxy cluster XMM-LSS J02182-05102 (hereafter IRC 0218) using LRIS (optical) and MOSFIRE (near-infrared) on Keck I as part of the ZFIRE survey. IRC 0218 has a narrow redshift range of $1.612<z_{\rm spec}<1.635$ defined by 33 members of which 20 are at R$_{\rm proj}<1$ Mpc. The cluster redshift and velocity dispersion are $z_{\rm cl}=1.6233\pm0.0003$ and $\sigma_{\rm cl}=254\pm50$ km s$^{-1}$. We reach NIR line sensitivities of $\sim0.3\times10^{-17}$ erg s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$ that, combined with multi-wavelength photometry, provide extinction-corrected H$\alpha$ star formation rates (SFR), gas phase metallicities from [NII]/H$\alpha$, and stellar masses. We measure an integrated H$\alpha$ SFR of $\sim325{\rm M}_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$ (26 members; R$_{\rm proj}<2$ Mpc) and show that the elevated star formation in the cluster core (R$_{\rm proj}<0.25$ Mpc) is driven by the concentration of star-forming members, but the average SFR per H$\alpha$-detected galaxy is half that of members at R$_{\rm proj}\sim1$ Mpc. However, we do not detect any environmental imprint when comparing attenuation and gas phase metallicities: the cluster galaxies show similar trends with M$_{\star}$ as to the field, e.g. more massive galaxies have larger stellar attenuation. IRC 0218's gas phase metallicity-M$_{\star}$ relation (MZR) is offset to lower metallicities relative to $z\sim0$ and has a slope of $0.13\pm0.10$. Comparing the MZR in IRC 0218 to the COSMOS cluster at $z=2.1$ shows no evolution ($\Delta t\sim1$ Gyr): the MZR for both galaxy clusters are remarkably consistent with each other and virtually identical to several field surveys at $z\sim2$.
    Full-text available · Article · Aug 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present Ha maps at 1kpc spatial resolution for star-forming galaxies at z~1, made possible by the WFC3 grism on HST. Employing this capability over all five 3D-HST/CANDELS fields provides a sample of 2676 galaxies. By creating deep stacked Halpha (Ha) images, we reach surface brightness limits of 1x10^-18\erg\s\cm^2\arcsec^2, allowing us to map the distribution of ionized gas out to >10kpc for typical L* galaxies at this epoch. We find that the spatial extent of the Ha distribution increases with stellar mass as r(Ha)[kpc]=1.5(Mstars/10^10Msun)^0.23. Furthermore, the Ha emission is more extended than the stellar continuum emission, consistent with inside-out assembly of galactic disks. This effect, however, is mass dependent with r(Ha)/r(stars)=1.1(M/10^10Msun)^0.054, such that at low masses r(Ha)~r(stars). We map the Ha distribution as a function of SFR(IR+UV) and find evidence for `coherent star formation' across the SFR-M plane: above the main sequence, Ha is enhanced at all radii; below the main sequence, Ha is depressed at all radii. This suggests that at all masses the physical processes driving the enhancement or suppression of star formation act throughout the disks of galaxies. It also confirms that the scatter in the star forming main sequence is real and caused by variations in the star formation rate at fixed mass. At high masses (10^10.5<M/Msun<10^11), above the main sequence, Ha is particularly enhanced in the center, plausibly building bulges and/or supermassive black holes. Below the main sequence, the star forming disks are more compact and a strong central dip in the EW(Ha), and the inferred specific star formation rate, appears. Importantly though, across the entirety of the SFR-M plane, the absolute star formation rate as traced by Ha is always centrally peaked, even in galaxies below the main sequence.
    Full-text available · Article · Jul 2015
  • Ivelina Momcheva · Erik Tollerud
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on an informal survey about the use of software in the worldwide astronomical community. The survey was carried out between December 2014 and February 2015, collecting responses from 1142 astronomers, spanning all career levels. We find that all participants use software in their research. The vast majority of participants, 90%, write at least some of their own software. Even though writing software is so wide-spread among the survey participants, only 8% of them report that they have received substantial training in software development. Another 49% of the participants have received "little" training. The remaining 43% have received no training. We also find that astronomers' software stack is fairly narrow. The 10 most popular tools among astronomers are (from most to least popular): Python, shell scripting, IDL, C/C++, Fortran, IRAF, spreadsheets, HTML/CSS, SQL and Supermongo. Across all participants the most common programing language is Python ($67\pm 2\%$), followed by IDL ($44\pm 2\%$), C/C++ ($37\pm 2\%$) and Fortran ($28\pm 2\%$). IRAF is used frequently by $24\pm 1\%$ of participants. We show that all trends are largely independent of career stage, area of research and geographic location.
    Article · Jul 2015

Publication Stats

1k Citations


  • 2015
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Observartory
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2011-2015
    • Yale University
      • Department of Astronomy
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2014
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2010-2012
    • Carnegie Institute
      Pasadena, Texas, United States
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
  • 2006-2008
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States