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  1. Utilizing spectroscopic observations taken for the VIMOS Ultra-Deep Survey (VUDS), new observations from Keck/DEIMOS, and publicly available observations of large samples of star-forming galaxies, we report here on the relationship between the star-formation rate (SFR) and the local environment ( δ gal ) of galaxies in the early universe (2 <  z  < 5). Unlike what is observed at lower redshifts ( z  ≲ 2), we observe a definite, nearly monotonic increase in the average SFR with increasing galaxy overdensity over more than an order of magnitude in δ gal . The robustness of this trend is quantified by accounting for both uncertainties in our measurements and galaxy populations that are either underrepresented or not present in our sample (e.g., extremely dusty star-forming and quiescent galaxies), and we find that the trend remains significant under all circumstances. This trend appears to be primarily driven by the fractional increase of galaxies in high-density environments that are more massive in their stellar content and are forming stars at a higher rate than their less massive counterparts. We find that, even after stellar mass effects are accounted for, there remains a weak but significant SFR– δ gal trend in our sample implying that additional environmentally relatedmore »processes are helping to drive this trend. We also find clear evidence that the average SFR of galaxies in the densest environments increases with increasing redshift. These results lend themselves to a picture in which massive gas-rich galaxies coalesce into proto-cluster environments at z  ≳ 3, interact with other galaxies or with a forming large-scale medium, subsequently using or losing most of their gas in the process, and begin to seed the nascent red sequence that is present in clusters at slightly lower redshifts.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT We study the projected spatial offset between the ultraviolet continuum and Ly α emission for 65 lensed and unlensed galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (5 ≤ z ≤ 7), the first such study at these redshifts, in order to understand the potential for these offsets to confuse estimates of the Ly α properties of galaxies observed in slit spectroscopy. While we find that ∼40 per cent of galaxies in our sample show significant projected spatial offsets ($|\Delta _{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$), we find a relatively modest average projected offset of $|\widetilde{\Delta }_{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$  = 0.61 ± 0.08 proper kpc for the entire sample. A small fraction of our sample, ∼10 per cent, exhibit offsets in excess of 2 proper kpc, with offsets seen up to ∼4 proper kpc, sizes that are considerably larger than the effective radii of typical galaxies at these redshifts. An internal comparison and a comparison to studies at lower redshift yielded no significant evidence of evolution of $|\Delta _{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$ with redshift. In our sample, ultraviolet (UV)-bright galaxies ($\widetilde{L_{\mathrm{ UV}}}/L^{\ast }_{\mathrm{ UV}}=0.67$) showed offsets a factor of three greater than their fainter counterparts ($\widetilde{L_{\mathrm{ UV}}}/L^{\ast }_{\mathrm{ UV}}=0.10$), 0.89 ± 0.18 versus 0.27 ± 0.05 proper kpc, respectively. The presence of companion galaxies and early stage merging activitymore »appeared to be unlikely causes of these offsets. Rather, these offsets appear consistent with a scenario in which internal anisotropic processes resulting from stellar feedback, which is stronger in UV-brighter galaxies, facilitate Ly α fluorescence and/or backscattering from nearby or outflowing gas. The reduction in the Ly α flux due to offsets was quantified. It was found that the differential loss of Ly α photons for galaxies with average offsets is not, if corrected for, a limiting factor for all but the narrowest slit widths (<0.4 arcsec). However, for the largest offsets, if they are mostly perpendicular to the slit major axis, slit losses were found to be extremely severe in cases where slit widths of ≤1 arcsec were employed, such as those planned for James Webb Space Telescope/NIRSpec observations.« less
  3. We present ALMA observations of a merging system at z  ∼ 4.57, observed as a part of the ALMA Large Program to INvestigate [CII] at Early times (ALPINE) survey. Combining ALMA [CII]158  μ m and far-infrared continuum data with multi-wavelength ancillary data, we find that the system is composed of two massive ( M ⋆  ≳ 10 10   M ⊙ ) star-forming galaxies experiencing a major merger (stellar mass ratio r mass  ≳ 0.9) at close spatial (∼13 kpc; projected) and velocity (Δ v  <  300 km s −1 ) separations, and two additional faint narrow [CII]-emitting satellites. The overall system belongs to a larger scale protocluster environment and is coincident to one of its overdensity peaks. Additionally, ALMA reveals the presence of [CII] emission arising from a circumgalactic gas structure, extending up to a diameter-scale of ∼30 kpc. Our morpho-spectral decomposition analysis shows that about 50% of the total flux resides between the individual galaxy components, in a metal-enriched gaseous envelope characterised by a disturbed morphology and complex kinematics. Similarly to observations of shock-excited [CII] emitted from tidal tails in local groups, our results can be interpreted as a possible signature of interstellar gas stripped by strong gravitational interactions, with a possible contributionmore »from material ejected by galactic outflows and emission triggered by star formation in small faint satellites. Our findings suggest that mergers could be an efficient mechanism of gas mixing in the circumgalactic medium around high- z galaxies, and thus play a key role in the galaxy baryon cycle at early epochs.« less