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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023

    We present a detailed study of a galaxy merger taking place at z = 1.89 in the GOODS-S field. Here, we analyse Keck/MOSFIRE spectroscopic observations from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey along with multiwavelength photometry assembled by the 3D-HST survey. The combined data set is modelled to infer the past star formation histories (SFHs) of both merging galaxies. They are found to be massive, with log10(M*/M⊙) > 11, with a close mass ratio satisfying the typical major-merger definition. Additionally, in the context of delayed-τ models, GOODS-S 43114, and GOODS-S 43683 have similar SFHs and low star formation rates (log10(SFR(SED)/${\rm M}_{\odot }\,\rm {yr}^{-1}$) < 1.0) compared to their past averages. The best-fitting model SEDs show elevated H δA values for both galaxies, indicating that their stellar spectra are dominated by A-type stars, and that star formation peaked ∼0.5−1 Gyr ago and has recently declined. Additionally, based on SED fitting both merging galaxies turned on and shut off star formation within a few hundred Myr of each other, suggesting that their bursts of star formation may be linked. Combining the SFHs and H δA results with recent galaxy merger simulations, we infer that these galaxies have recently completed their first pericentric passage andmore »are moving apart. Finally, the relatively low second velocity moment of GOODS-S 43114, given its stellar mass suggests a disc-like structure. However, including the geometry of the galaxy in the modelling does not completely resolve the discrepancy between the dynamical and stellar masses. Future work is needed to resolve this inconsistency in mass.

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  3. Abstract

    We report the discovery of an extremely magnified star at redshiftz= 2.65 in the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) NIRISS pre-imaging of the A2744 galaxy-cluster field. The star’s background host galaxy lies on a fold caustic of the foreground lens, and the cluster creates a pair of images of the region close to the lensed star. We identified the bright transient in one of the merging images at a distance of ∼0.″15 from the critical curve by subtracting the JWST F115W and F150W imaging from coadditions of archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST) F105W and F125W images and F140W and F160W images, respectively. Since the time delay between the two images should be only hours, the transient must be the microlensing event of an individual star, as opposed to a luminous stellar explosion that would persist for days to months. Analysis of individual exposures suggests that the star’s magnification is not changing rapidly during the observations. From photometry of the point source through the F115W, F150W, and F200W filters, we identify a strong Balmer break, and modeling allows us to constrain the star’s temperature to be approximately 7000–12,000 K.

  4. Abstract

    Using spatially resolved Hαemission line maps of star-forming galaxies, we study the spatial distribution of star formation over a wide range in redshift (0.5 ≲z≲ 1.7). Ourz∼ 0.5 measurements come from deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 G102 grism spectroscopy obtained as part of the CANDELS LyαEmission at Reionization Experiment. For star-forming galaxies with log(M*/M) ≥ 8.96, the mean Hαeffective radius is 1.2 ± 0.1 times larger than that of the stellar continuum, implying inside-out growth via star formation. This measurement agrees within 1σwith those measured atz∼ 1 andz∼ 1.7 from the 3D-HST and KMOS3Dsurveys, respectively, implying no redshift evolution. However, we observe redshift evolution in the stellar mass surface density within 1 kpc (Σ1kpc). Star-forming galaxies atz∼ 0.5 with a stellar mass of log(M*/M) = 9.5 have a ratio of Σ1kpcin Hαrelative to their stellar continuum that is lower by (19 ± 2)% compared toz∼ 1 galaxies. Σ1kpc,Hα1kpc,Contdecreases toward higher stellar masses. The majority of the redshift evolution in Σ1kpc,Hα1kpc,Contversus stellar mass stems from the fact that log(Σ1kpc,Hα) declines twice as much as log(Σ1kpc,Cont) fromz∼ 1 to 0.5 (at a fixed stellar mass of log(M*/M) = 9.5). By comparing our results to the TNG50 cosmologicalmore »magneto-hydrodynamical simulation, we rule out dust as the driver of this evolution. Our results are consistent with inside-out quenching following in the wake of inside-out growth, the former of which drives the significant drop in Σ1kpc,Hαfromz∼ 1 toz∼ 0.5.

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  5. Abstract We present spatially resolved Hubble Space Telescope grism spectroscopy of 15 galaxies at z ∼ 0.8 drawn from the DEEP2 survey. We analyze H α +[N ii ], [S ii ], and [S iii ] emission on kiloparsec scales to explore which mechanisms are powering emission lines at high redshifts, testing which processes may be responsible for the well-known offset of high-redshift galaxies from the z ∼ 0 locus in the [O iii ]/H β versus [N ii ]/H α Baldwin—Phillips—Terlevich (BPT) excitation diagram. We study spatially resolved emission-line maps to examine evidence for active galactic nuclei (AGN), shocks, diffuse ionized gas (DIG), or escaping ionizing radiation, all of which may contribute to the BPT offsets observed in our sample. We do not find significant evidence of AGN in our sample and quantify that, on average, AGN would need to contribute ∼25% of the H α flux in the central resolution element in order to cause the observed BPT offsets. We find weak (2 σ ) evidence of DIG emission at low surface brightnesses, yielding an implied total DIG emission fraction of ∼20%, which is not significant enough to be the dominant emission line driver in our sample. Inmore »general we find that the observed emission is dominated by star-forming H ii regions. We discuss trends with demographic properties and the possible role of α -enhanced abundance patterns in the emission spectra of high-redshift galaxies. Our results indicate that photoionization modeling with stellar population synthesis inputs is a valid tool to explore the specific star formation properties which may cause BPT offsets, to be explored in future work.« less
  6. Abstract We report on the gas-phase metallicity gradients of a sample of 238 star-forming galaxies at 0.6 < z < 2.6, measured through deep near-infrared Hubble Space Telescope slitless spectroscopy. The observations include 12 orbit depth Hubble/WFC3 G102 grism spectra taken as a part of the CANDELS Ly α Emission at Reionization (CLEAR) survey, and archival WFC3 G102+G141 grism spectra overlapping the CLEAR footprint. The majority of galaxies in this sample are consistent with having a zero or slightly positive metallicity gradient ( dZ / dR ≥ 0, i.e., increasing with radius) across the full mass range probed (8.5 < log M * / M ⊙ < 10.5). We measure the intrinsic population scatter of the metallicity gradients, and show that it increases with decreasing stellar mass—consistent with previous reports in the literature, but confirmed here with a much larger sample. To understand the physical mechanisms governing this scatter, we search for correlations between the observed gradient and various stellar population properties at fixed mass. However, we find no evidence for a correlation with the galaxy properties we consider—including star formation rates, sizes, star formation rate surface densities, and star formation rates per gravitational potential energy. We use the observedmore »weakness of these correlations to provide material constraints for predicted intrinsic correlations from theoretical models.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We compare the star-forming main sequence (SFMS) of galaxies – both integrated and resolved on 1 kpc scales – between the high-resolution TNG50 simulation of IllustrisTNG and observations from the 3D-HST slitless spectroscopic survey at z ∼ 1. Contrasting integrated star formation rates (SFRs), we find that the slope and normalization of the star-forming main sequence in TNG50 are quantitatively consistent with values derived by fitting observations from 3D-HST with the Prospector Bayesian inference framework. The previous offsets of 0.2–1 dex between observed and simulated main-sequence normalizations are resolved when using the updated masses and SFRs from Prospector. The scatter is generically smaller in TNG50 than in 3D-HST for more massive galaxies with M*> 1010 M⊙, by ∼10–40 per cent, after accounting for observational uncertainties. When comparing resolved star formation, we also find good agreement between TNG50 and 3D-HST: average specific star formation rate (sSFR) radial profiles of galaxies at all masses and radii below, on, and above the SFMS are similar in both normalization and shape. Most noteworthy, massive galaxies with M*> 1010.5 M⊙, which have fallen below the SFMS due to ongoing quenching, exhibit a clear central SFR suppression, in both TNG50 and 3D-HST. In contrast, the original Illustris simulation and a variantmore »TNG run without black hole kinetic wind feedback, do not reproduce the central SFR profile suppression seen in data. In TNG, inside-out quenching is due to the supermassive black hole (SMBH) feedback model operating at low accretion rates.« less