skip to main content

Title: The Space Density of Intermediate-redshift, Extremely Compact, Massive Starburst Galaxies

We present a measurement of the intrinsic space density of intermediate-redshift (z∼ 0.5), massive (M*∼ 1011M), compact (Re∼ 100 pc) starburst (ΣSFR∼ 1000Myr−1kpc−1) galaxies with tidal features indicative of them having undergone recent major mergers. A subset of them host kiloparsec-scale, > 1000 km s−1outflows and have little indication of AGN activity, suggesting that extreme star formation can be a primary driver of large-scale feedback. The aim for this paper is to calculate their space density so we can place them in a better cosmological context. We do this by empirically modeling the stellar populations of massive, compact starburst galaxies. We determine the average timescale on which galaxies that have recently undergone an extreme nuclear starburst would be targeted and included in our spectroscopically selected sample. We find that massive, compact starburst galaxies targeted by our criteria would be selectable for14824+27Myr and have an intrinsic space densitynCS(1.10.3+0.5)×106Mpc3. This space density is broadly consistent with ourz∼ 0.5 compact starbursts being the most extremely compact and star-forming low-redshift analogs of the compact star-forming galaxies in the early universe, as well as them being the progenitors to a fraction of intermediate-redshift, post-starburst, and more » compact quiescent galaxies.

« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1813702 1813299
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 222
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We present the characteristics of 2 mm selected sources from the largest Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) blank-field contiguous survey conducted to date, the Mapping Obscuration to Reionization with ALMA (MORA) survey covering 184 arcmin2at 2 mm. Twelve of 13 detections above 5σare attributed to emission from galaxies, 11 of which are dominated by cold dust emission. These sources have a median redshift ofz2mm=3.60.3+0.4primarily based on optical/near-infrared photometric redshifts with some spectroscopic redshifts, with 77% ± 11% of sources atz> 3 and 38% ± 12% of sources atz> 4. This implies that 2 mm selection is an efficient method for identifying the highest-redshift dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs). Lower-redshift DSFGs (z< 3) are far more numerous than those atz> 3 yet are likely to drop out at 2 mm. MORA shows that DSFGs with star formation rates in excess of 300Myr−1and a relative rarity of ∼10−5Mpc−3contribute ∼30% to the integrated star formation rate density at 3 <z< 6. The volume density of 2 mm selected DSFGs is consistent with predictions from some cosmological simulations and is similar to the volume density of their hypothesized descendants: massive, quiescent galaxies atz> 2. Analysis of MORA sources’more »spectral energy distributions hint at steeper empirically measured dust emissivity indices than reported in typical literature studies, withβ=2.20.4+0.5. The MORA survey represents an important step in taking census of obscured star formation in the universe’s first few billion years, but larger area 2 mm surveys are needed to more fully characterize this rare population and push to the detection of the universe’s first dusty galaxies.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    We present a multiwavelength analysis of the galaxy cluster SPT-CL J0607-4448 (SPT0607), which is one of the most distant clusters discovered by the South Pole Telescope atz= 1.4010 ± 0.0028. The high-redshift cluster shows clear signs of being relaxed with well-regulated feedback from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) in the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG). Using Chandra X-ray data, we construct thermodynamic profiles and determine the properties of the intracluster medium. The cool-core nature of the cluster is supported by a centrally peaked density profile and low central entropy (K0=189+11keV cm2), which we estimate assuming an isothermal temperature profile due to the limited spectral information given the distance to the cluster. Using the density profile and gas cooling time inferred from the X-ray data, we find a mass-cooling rateṀcool=10060+90Myr−1. From optical spectroscopy and photometry around the [Oii] emission line, we estimate that the BCG star formation rate isSFR[OII]=1.70.6+1.0Myr−1, roughly two orders of magnitude lower than the predicted mass-cooling rate. In addition, using ATCA radio data at 2.1 GHz, we measure a radio jet powerPcav=3.21.3+2.1×1044erg s−1, which is consistent withmore »the X-ray cooling luminosity (Lcool=1.90.5+0.2×1044erg s−1withinrcool= 43 kpc). These findings suggest that SPT0607 is a relaxed, cool-core cluster with AGN-regulated cooling at an epoch shortly after cluster formation, implying that the balance between cooling and feedback can be reached quickly. We discuss the implications for these findings on the evolution of AGN feedback in galaxy clusters.

    « less
  3. Abstract

    We report CO(5 → 4) and CO(6 → 5) line observations in the dusty starbursting galaxy CRLE (z= 5.667) and the main-sequence (MS) galaxy HZ10 (z= 5.654) with the Northern Extended Millimeter Array. CRLE is the most luminousz> 5 starburst in the COSMOS field and HZ10 is the most gas-rich “normal” galaxy currently known atz> 5. We find line luminosities for CO(5 → 4) and CO(6 → 5) of (4.9 ± 0.5) and (3.8 ± 0.4) × 1010K km s−1pc2for CRLE and upper limits of < 0.76 and < 0.60 × 1010K km s−1pc2for HZ10, respectively. The CO excitation of CRLE appears comparable to otherz> 5 dusty star-forming galaxies. For HZ10, these line luminosity limits provide the first significant constraints of this kind for an MS galaxy atz> 5. We find the upper limit ofL54/L21in HZ10 could be similar to the average value for MS galaxies aroundz≈ 1.5, suggesting that MS galaxies with comparable gas excitation may already have existed one billion years after the Big Bang. For CRLE we determine the most likely values for the H2density, kinetic temperature, and dust temperature based on excitation modeling of the CO line ladder. Wemore »also derive a total gas mass of (7.1 ± 1.3) × 1010M. Our findings provide some of the currently most detailed constraints on the gas excitation that sets the conditions for star formation in a galaxy protocluster environment atz> 5.

    « less
  4. Abstract

    We report the discovery of MAGAZ3NE J095924+022537, a spectroscopically confirmed protocluster atz=3.36650.0012+0.0009around a spectroscopically confirmedUVJ-quiescent ultramassive galaxy (UMG;M=2.340.34+0.23×1011M) in the COSMOS UltraVISTA field. We present a total of 38 protocluster members (14 spectroscopic and 24 photometric), including the UMG. Notably, and in marked contrast to protoclusters previously reported at this epoch that have been found to contain predominantly star-forming members, we measure an elevated fraction of quiescent galaxies relative to the coeval field (73.316.9+26.7%versus11.64.9+7.1%for galaxies with stellar massM≥ 1011M). This high quenched fraction provides a striking and important counterexample to the seeming ubiquitousness of star-forming galaxies in protoclusters atz> 2 and suggests, rather, that protoclusters exist in a diversity of evolutionary states in the early universe. We discuss the possibility that we might be observing either “early mass quenching” or nonclassical “environmental quenching.” We also present the discovery of MAGAZ3NE J100028+023349, a second spectroscopically confirmed protocluster, at a very similar redshift ofz=3.38010.0281+0.0213. We present a total of 20 protocluster members, 12 of which are photometric and eight spectroscopic including a poststarburst UMG (M=2.950.20+0.21×1011M). Protoclusters MAGAZ3NE J0959more »and MAGAZ3NE J1000 are separated by 18′ on the sky (35 comoving Mpc), in good agreement with predictions from simulations for the size of “Coma”-type cluster progenitors at this epoch. It is highly likely that the two UMGs are the progenitors of Brightest Cluster Galaxies seen in massive virialized clusters at lower redshift.

    « less
  5. Abstract

    We use ALMA observations of CO(2–1) in 13 massive (M*≳ 1011M) poststarburst galaxies atz∼ 0.6 to constrain the molecular gas content in galaxies shortly after they quench their major star-forming episode. The poststarburst galaxies in this study are selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopic samples (Data Release 14) based on their spectral shapes, as part of the Studying QUenching at Intermediate-z Galaxies: Gas, anguLarmomentum, and Evolution (SQuIGGLE) program. Early results showed that two poststarburst galaxies host large H2reservoirs despite their low inferred star formation rates (SFRs). Here we expand this analysis to a larger statistical sample of 13 galaxies. Six of the primary targets (45%) are detected, withMH2109M. Given their high stellar masses, this mass limit corresponds to an average gas fraction offH2MH2/M*7%or ∼14% using lower stellar masses estimates derived from analytic, exponentially declining star formation histories. The gas fraction correlates with theDn4000 spectral index, suggesting that the cold gas reservoirs decrease with time since burst, as found in local K+A galaxies. Star formation histories derived from flexible stellar population synthesis modeling support thismore »empirical finding: galaxies that quenched ≲150 Myr prior to observation host detectable CO(2–1) emission, while older poststarburst galaxies are undetected. The large H2reservoirs and low SFRs in the sample imply that the quenching of star formation precedes the disappearance of the cold gas reservoirs. However, within the following 100–200 Myr, theSQuIGGLEgalaxies require the additional and efficient heating or removal of cold gas to bring their low SFRs in line with standard H2scaling relations.

    « less