skip to main content

Title: Identifying and characterizing the most heavily dust-obscured galaxies at 1 ≤ z ≤ 4

We present 65 extremely dust-obscured galaxies from the UltraVISTA DR3 survey of the COSMOS field at 1 < z < 4. In contrast to other studies of dusty galaxies, we select our sample based on dust attenuation measured by UV–MIR spectral energy distribution (SED) modelling that allows for extreme attenuation levels. We construct our sample by making cuts at 1 ≤ z ≤ 4, AV ≥ 3, and log(M*/M⊙) ≥ 10.5. This method reliably selects galaxies exhibiting independent indicators of significant dust content, including far-infrared detection rates. We perform panchromatic SED modelling with matched Herschel photometry and find stellar and dust properties that differ from typical submillimetre galaxy (SMG) samples as well as Herschel sources matched in redshift and stellar mass. Our sources have lower star formation rates and higher AV than SMGs, but comparable total infrared luminosities. Most of our sample falls on or near the star-forming main sequence for this redshift range. Finally, we perform a morphological analysis with galfit using the KS-band images and Hubble F814W and F160W imaging when available. Typical axial ratios of ∼0.4 suggest disc-like morphology for the majority of our sources, and we note only three apparent merging systems. Our sample generally agrees with the size–mass relation for star-forming galaxies, with a tail extending to smaller sizes. We conclude that the most heavily obscured galaxies in this redshift range share many characteristics with typical star-forming galaxies, forming a population of dusty galaxies that overlaps, but is not encompassed by, those selected through dust emission.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 4961-4975
["p. 4961-4975"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    We investigate the degree of dust obscured star formation in 49 massive (log10(M⋆/M⊙) > 9) Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z = 6.5–8 observed as part of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Reionization Era Bright Emission Line Survey (REBELS) large program. By creating deep stacks of the photometric data and the REBELS ALMA measurements we determine the average rest-frame ultraviolet (UV), optical, and far-infrared (FIR) properties which reveal a significant fraction (fobs = 0.4–0.7) of obscured star formation, consistent with previous studies. From measurements of the rest-frame UV slope, we find that the brightest LBGs at these redshifts show bluer (β ≃ −2.2) colours than expected from an extrapolation of the colour–magnitude relation found at fainter magnitudes. Assuming a modified blackbody spectral energy distribution (SED) in the FIR (with dust temperature of $T_{\rm d} = 46\, {\rm K}$ and βd = 2.0), we find that the REBELS sources are in agreement with the local ‘Calzetti-like’ starburst Infrared-excess (IRX)–β relation. By re-analysing the data available for 108 galaxies at z ≃ 4–6 from the ALMA Large Program to Investigate C+ at Early Times (ALPINE) using a consistent methodology and assumed FIR SED, we show that from z ≃ 4–8, massive galaxies selected in the rest-frame UV have no appreciable evolution in their derived IRX–β relation. When comparing the IRX–M⋆ relation derived from the combined ALPINE and REBELS sample to relations established at z < 4, we find a deficit in the IRX, indicating that at z > 4 the proportion of obscured star formation is lower by a factor of ≳ 3 at a given a M⋆. Our IRX–β results are in good agreement with the high-redshift predictions of simulations and semi-analytic models for z ≃ 7 galaxies with similar stellar masses and star formation rates.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract We present results from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 1.2 mm continuum observations of a sample of 27 star-forming galaxies at z = 2.1–2.5 from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey with metallicity and star formation rate measurements from optical emission lines. Using stacks of Spitzer, Herschel, and ALMA photometry (rest frame ∼8–400 μ m), we examine the infrared (IR) spectral energy distributions (SED) of z ∼ 2.3 subsolar-metallicity (∼0.5 Z ⊙ ) luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs). We find that the data agree well with an average template of higher-luminosity local low-metallicity dwarf galaxies (reduced χ 2 = 1.8). When compared with the commonly used templates for solar-metallicity local galaxies or high-redshift LIRGs and ultraluminous IR galaxies, even in the most favorable case (with reduced χ 2 = 2.8), the templates are rejected at >98% confidence. The broader and hotter IR SED of both the local dwarfs and high-redshift subsolar-metallicity galaxies may result from different grain properties or a harder/more intense ionizing radiation field that increases the dust temperature. The obscured star formation rate (SFR) indicated by the far-IR emission of the subsolar-metallicity galaxies is only ∼60% of the total SFR, considerably lower than that of the local LIRGs with ∼96%–97% obscured fractions. Due to the evolving IR SED shape, the local LIRG templates fit to mid-IR data overestimate the Rayleigh–Jeans tail measurements by a factor of 2–20. These templates underestimate IR luminosities if fit to the observed ALMA fluxes by >0.4 dex. At a given stellar mass or metallicity, dust masses at z ∼ 2.3 are an order of magnitude higher than z ∼ 0. Given the predicted molecular gas fractions, the observed z ∼ 2.3 dust-to-stellar mass ratios suggest lower dust-to-molecular gas masses than in local galaxies with similar metallicities. 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT We perform an aperture-matched analysis of dust-corrected H α and UV star formation rates (SFRs) using 303 star-forming galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts 1.36 < zspec < 2.66 from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey. By combining H α and H β emission line measurements with multiwaveband resolved Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey/3D-HST imaging, we directly compare dust-corrected H α and UV SFRs, inferred assuming a fixed attenuation curve shape and constant SFHs, within the spectroscopic aperture. Previous studies have found that H α and UV SFRs inferred with these assumptions generally agree for typical star-forming galaxies, but become increasingly discrepant for galaxies with higher SFRs (≳100 M⊙ yr−1), with H α-to-UV SFR ratios being larger for these galaxies. Our analysis shows that this trend persists even after carefully accounting for the apertures over which H α and UV-based SFRs (and the nebular and stellar continuum reddening) are derived. Furthermore, our results imply that H α SFRs may be higher in the centres of large galaxies (i.e. where there is coverage by the spectroscopic aperture) compared to their outskirts, which could be indicative of inside-out galaxy growth. Overall, we suggest that the persistent difference between nebular and stellar continuum reddening and high H α-to-UV SFR ratios at the centres of large galaxies may be indicative of a patchier distribution of dust in galaxies with high SFRs. 
    more » « less

    We aim to determine the intrinsic far-Infrared (far-IR) emission of X-ray-luminous quasars over cosmic time. Using a 16 deg2 region of the Stripe 82 field surveyed by XMM-Newton and Herschel Space Observatory, we identify 2905 X-ray luminous (LX > 1042 erg/s) active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the range z ≈ 0–3. The IR is necessary to constrain host galaxy properties such as star formation rate (SFR) and gas mass. However, only 10 per cent of our AGN are detected both in the X-ray and IR. Because 90 per cent of the sample is undetected in the far-IR by Herschel, we explore the mean IR emission of these undetected sources by stacking their Herschel/SPIRE images in bins of X-ray luminosity and redshift. We create stacked spectral energy distributions from the optical to the far-IR, and estimate the median SFR, dust mass, stellar mass, and infrared luminosity using a fitting routine. We find that the stacked sources on average have similar SFR/Lbol ratios as IR detected sources. The majority of our sources fall on or above the main sequence line suggesting that X-ray selection alone does not predict the location of a galaxy on the main sequence. We also find that the gas depletion time scales of our AGN are similar to those of dusty star forming galaxies. This suggests that X-ray selected AGN host high star formation and that there are no signs of declining star formation.

    more » « less
  5. 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’ 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.

    more » « less