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  1. ABSTRACT

    We use the large spectroscopic data set of the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey to investigate the kinematics and energetics of ionized gas outflows. Using a sample of 598 star-forming galaxies at redshift 1.4 < z < 3.8, we decompose [O iii] and $\rm {H}\,\alpha$ emission lines into narrow and broad components, finding significant detections of broad components in 10 per cent of the sample. The ionized outflow velocity from individual galaxies appears independent of galaxy properties, such as stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR), and SFR surface density (ΣSFR). Adopting a simple outflow model, we estimate the mass-, energy-, and momentum-loading factors of the ionized outflows, finding modest values with averages of 0.33, 0.04, and 0.22, respectively. The larger momentum- than energy-loading factors, for the adopted physical parameters, imply that these ionized outflows are primarily momentum driven. We further find a marginal correlation (2.5σ) between the mass-loading factor and stellar mass in agreement with predictions by simulations, scaling as ηm$\propto M_{\star }^{-0.45}$. This shallow scaling relation is consistent with these ionized outflows being driven by a combination of mechanical energy generated by supernovae explosions and radiation pressure acting on dusty material. In a majority of galaxies, the outflowing material does not appear to have sufficient velocity to escape the gravitational potential of their host, likely recycling back at later times. Together, these results suggest that the ionized outflows traced by nebular emission lines are negligible, with the bulk of mass and energy carried out in other gaseous phases.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We report the discovery of 15 exceptionally luminous 10 ≲z≲ 14 candidate galaxies discovered in the first 0.28 deg2of JWST/NIRCam imaging from the COSMOS-Web survey. These sources span rest-frame UV magnitudes of −20.5 >MUV> −22, and thus constitute the most intrinsically luminousz≳ 10 candidates identified by JWST to date. Selected via NIRCam imaging, deep ground-based observations corroborate their detection and help significantly constrain their photometric redshifts. We analyze their spectral energy distributions using multiple open-source codes and evaluate the probability of low-redshift solutions; we conclude that 12/15 (80%) are likely genuinez≳ 10 sources and 3/15 (20%) likely low-redshift contaminants. Three of ourz∼ 12 candidates push the limits of early stellar mass assembly: they have estimated stellar masses ∼ 5 × 109M, implying an effective stellar baryon fraction ofϵ∼ 0.2−0.5, whereϵM/(fbMhalo). The assembly of such stellar reservoirs is made possible due to rapid, burst-driven star formation on timescales < 100 Myr where the star formation rate may far outpace the growth of the underlying dark matter halos. This is supported by the similar volume densities inferred forM∼ 1010Mgalaxies relative toM∼ 109M—both about 10−6Mpc−3—implying they live in halos of comparable mass. At such high redshifts, the duty cycle for starbursts would be of order unity, which could cause the observed change in the shape of the UV luminosity function from a double power law to a Schechter function atz≈ 8. Spectroscopic redshift confirmation and ensuing constraints of their masses will be critical to understand how, and if, such early massive galaxies push the limits of galaxy formation in the Lambda cold dark matter paradigm.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2025
  3. ABSTRACT

    We report on the discovery of cool gas inflows towards three star-forming galaxies at <z> ∼ 2.30. Analysis of Keck Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer spectroscopy reveals redshifted low-ionization interstellar (LIS) metal absorption lines with centroid velocities of 60–130 km s−1. These inflows represent some of the most robust detections of inflowing gas into isolated, star-forming galaxies at high redshift. Our analysis suggests that the inflows are due to recycling metal-enriched gas from previous ejections. Comparisons between the galaxies with inflows and a larger parent sample of 131 objects indicate that galaxies with detected inflows may have higher specific star formation rates (sSFRs) and star-formation-rate surface densities (ΣSFR). However, when additional galaxies without robustly detected inflows based on centroid velocity but whose LIS absorption line profiles indicate large red-wing velocities are considered, galaxies with inflows do not show unique properties relative to those lacking inflows. Additionally, we calculate the covering fraction of cool inflowing gas as a function of red-wing inflow velocity, finding an enhancement in high-sSFR binned galaxies, likely due to an increase in the amount of recycling gas. Together, these results suggest that the low detection rate of galaxies with cool inflows is primarily related to the viewing angle rather than the physical properties of the galaxies.

     
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  4. Abstract

    We use the large spectroscopic data set of the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey to investigate some of the key factors responsible for the elevated ionization parameters (U) inferred for high-redshift galaxies, focusing in particular on the role of star-formation-rate surface density (ΣSFR). Using a sample of 317 galaxies with spectroscopic redshiftszspec≃ 1.9–3.7, we construct composite rest-frame optical spectra in bins of ΣSFRand infer electron densities,ne, using the ratio of the [Oii]λλ3727, 3730 doublet. Our analysis suggests a significant (≃3σ) correlation betweenneand ΣSFR. We further find significant correlations betweenUand ΣSFRfor composite spectra of a subsample of 113 galaxies, and for a smaller sample of 25 individual galaxies with inferences ofU. The increase inne—and possibly also the volume filling factor of dense clumps in Hiiregions—with ΣSFRappear to be important factors in explaining the relationship betweenUand ΣSFR. Further, the increase inneand SFR with redshift at a fixed stellar mass can account for most of the redshift evolution ofU. These results suggest that the gas density, which setsneand the overall level of star formation activity, may play a more important role than metallicity evolution in explaining the elevated ionization parameters of high-redshift galaxies.

     
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  5. Abstract We present observations of CO(3−2) in 13 main-sequence z = 2.0–2.5 star-forming galaxies at log ( M * / M ⊙ ) = 10.2 – 10.6 that span a wide range in metallicity (O/H) based on rest-optical spectroscopy. We find that L CO ( 3 − 2 ) ′ /SFR decreases with decreasing metallicity, implying that the CO luminosity per unit gas mass is lower in low-metallicity galaxies at z ∼ 2. We constrain the CO-to-H 2 conversion factor ( α CO ) and find that α CO inversely correlates with metallicity at z ∼ 2. We derive molecular gas masses ( M mol ) and characterize the relations among M * , SFR, M mol , and metallicity. At z ∼ 2, M mol increases and the molecular gas fraction ( M mol / M * ) decreases with increasing M * , with a significant secondary dependence on SFR. Galaxies at z ∼ 2 lie on a near-linear molecular KS law that is well-described by a constant depletion time of 700 Myr. We find that the scatter about the mean SFR− M * , O/H− M * , and M mol − M * relations is correlated such that, at fixed M * , z ∼ 2 galaxies with larger M mol have higher SFR and lower O/H. We thus confirm the existence of a fundamental metallicity relation at z ∼ 2, where O/H is inversely correlated with both SFR and M mol at fixed M * . These results suggest that the scatter of the z ∼ 2 star-forming main sequence, mass–metallicity relation, and M mol – M * relation are primarily driven by stochastic variations in gas inflow rates. We place constraints on the mass loading of galactic outflows and perform a metal budget analysis, finding that massive z ∼ 2 star-forming galaxies retain only 30% of metals produced, implying that a large mass of metals resides in the circumgalactic medium. 
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  6. Abstract

    We investigate dust attenuation and its dependence on viewing angle for 308 star-forming galaxies at 1.3 ≤z≤ 2.6 from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey. We divide galaxies with a detected Hαemission line and coverage of Hβinto eight groups by stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR), and inclination (i.e., axis ratio), and we then stack their spectra. From each stack, we measure the Balmer decrement and gas-phase metallicity, and then we compute the medianAVand UV continuum spectral slope (β). First, we find that none of the dust properties (Balmer decrement,AV, orβ) varies with the axis ratio. Second, both stellar and nebular attenuation increase with increasing galaxy mass, showing little residual dependence on SFR or metallicity. Third, nebular emission is more attenuated than stellar emission, and this difference grows even larger at higher galaxy masses and SFRs. Based on these results, we propose a three-component dust model in which attenuation predominantly occurs in star-forming regions and large, dusty star-forming clumps, with minimal attenuation in the diffuse ISM. In this model, nebular attenuation primarily originates in clumps, while stellar attenuation is dominated by star-forming regions. Clumps become larger and more common with increasing galaxy mass, creating the above mass trends. Finally, we argue that a fixed metal yield naturally leads to mass regulating dust attenuation. Infall of low-metallicity gas increases the SFR and lowers the metallicity, but leaves the dust column density mostly unchanged. We quantify this idea using the Kennicutt–Schmidt and fundamental metallicity relations, showing that galaxy mass is indeed the primary driver of dust attenuation.

     
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  7. ABSTRACT We define a new morphology metric called ‘patchiness’ (P) that is sensitive to deviations from the average of a resolved distribution, does not require the galaxy centre to be defined, and can be used on the spatially resolved distribution of any galaxy property. While the patchiness metric has a broad range of applications, we demonstrate its utility by investigating the distribution of dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) of 310 star-forming galaxies at spectroscopic redshifts 1.36 < z < 2.66 observed by the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey. The stellar continuum reddening distribution, derived from high-resolution multiwaveband CANDELS/3D-HST imaging, is quantified using the patchiness, Gini, and M20 coefficients. We find that the reddening maps of high-mass galaxies, which are dustier and more metal-rich on average, tend to exhibit patchier distributions (high P) with the reddest components concentrated within a single region (low M20). Our results support a picture where dust is uniformly distributed in low-mass galaxies (≲1010 M⊙), implying efficient mixing of dust throughout the ISM. On the other hand, the dust distribution is patchier in high-mass galaxies (≳1010 M⊙). Dust is concentrated near regions of active star formation and dust mixing time-scales are expected to be longer in high-mass galaxies, such that the outskirt regions of these physically larger galaxies remain relatively unenriched. This study presents direct evidence for patchy dust distributions on scales of a few kpc in high-redshift galaxies, which previously has only been suggested as a possible explanation for the observed differences between nebular and stellar continuum reddening, star formation rate indicators, and dust attenuation curves. 
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