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

    We analyse the completeness of the MOSDEF survey, in which z ∼ 2 galaxies were selected for rest-optical spectroscopy from well-studied HST extragalactic legacy fields down to a fixed rest-optical magnitude limit (HAB = 24.5). The subset of z ∼ 2 MOSDEF galaxies with high signal-to-noise (S/N) emission-line detections analysed in previous work represents a small minority (<10 per cent) of possible z ∼ 2 MOSDEF targets. It is therefore crucial to understand how representative this high S/N subsample is, while also more fully exploiting the MOSDEF spectroscopic sample. Using spectral-energy distribution (SED) models and rest-optical spectral stacking, we compare the MOSDEF z ∼ 2 high S/N subsample with the full MOSDEF sample of z ∼ 2 star-forming galaxies with redshifts, the latter representing an increase in sample size of more than a factor of three. We find that both samples have similar emission-line properties, in particular in terms of the magnitude of the offset from the local star-forming sequence on the [N ii] BPT diagram. There are small differences in median host galaxy properties, including the stellar mass (M*), star formation rate (SFR) and specific SFR (sSFR), and UVJ colours; however, these offsets are minor considering the wide spread of themore »distributions. Using SED modelling, we also demonstrate that the sample of z ∼ 2 star-forming galaxies observed by the MOSDEF survey is representative of the parent catalog of available such targets. We conclude that previous MOSDEF results on the evolution of star-forming galaxy emission-line properties were unbiased relative to the parent z ∼ 2 galaxy population.

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  5. ABSTRACT We analyse the rest-optical emission-line ratios of z ∼ 1.5 galaxies drawn from the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. Using composite spectra, we investigate the mass–metallicity relation (MZR) at z ∼ 1.5 and measure its evolution to z = 0. When using gas-phase metallicities based on the N2 line ratio, we find that the MZR evolution from z ∼ 1.5 to z = 0 depends on stellar mass, evolving by $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.25$ dex at M*< $10^{9.75}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ down to $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.05$ at M* ≳ $10^{10.5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. In contrast, the O3N2-based MZR shows a constant offset of $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.30$ across all masses, consistent with previous MOSDEF results based on independent metallicity indicators, and suggesting that O3N2 provides a more robust metallicity calibration for our z ∼ 1.5 sample. We investigated the secondary dependence of the MZR on star formation rate (SFR) by measuring correlated scatter about the mean M*-specific SFR and M*−$\log (\rm O3N2)$ relations. We find an anticorrelation between $\log (\rm O/H)$ and sSFR offsets, indicating the presence of a M*−SFR−Z relation, though with limited significance. Additionally, we find that our z ∼ 1.5more »stacks lie along the z = 0 metallicity sequence at fixed μ = log (M*/M⊙) − 0.6 × $\log (\rm SFR / M_{\odot } \, yr^{-1})$ suggesting that the z ∼ 1.5 stacks can be described by the z = 0 fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). However, using different calibrations can shift the calculated metallicities off of the local FMR, indicating that appropriate calibrations are essential for understanding metallicity evolution with redshift. Finally, understanding how [N ii]/H α scales with galaxy properties is crucial to accurately describe the effects of blended [N ii] and H α on redshift and H α fiux measurements in future large surveys utilizing low-resolution spectra such as with Euclid and the Roman Space Telescope.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We analyse the rest-optical emission-line spectra of z ∼ 2.3 star-forming galaxies in the complete MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. In investigating the origin of the well-known offset between the sequences of high-redshift and local galaxies in the [O iii]λ5008/Hβ versus [N ii]λ6585/Hα (‘[N ii] BPT’) diagram, we define two populations of z ∼ 2.3 MOSDEF galaxies. These include the high population that is offset towards higher [O iii]λ5008/Hβ and/or [N ii]λ6585/Hα with respect to the local SDSS sequence and the low population that overlaps the SDSS sequence. These two groups are also segregated within the [O  iii]λ5008/Hβ versus [S ii]λλ6718,6733/Hα and the [O iii]λλ4960,5008/[O ii ]λλ3727,3730 (O32) versus ([O  iii]λλ4960,5008+[O ii]λλ3727,3730)/Hβ (R23) diagrams, which suggests qualitatively that star-forming regions in the more offset galaxies are characterized by harder ionizing spectra at fixed nebular oxygen abundance. We also investigate many galaxy properties of the split sample and find that the high sample is on average smaller in size and less massive, but has higher specific star formation rate (SFR) and SFR surface density values and is slightly younger compared to the low population. From Cloudy+BPASS photoionization models, we estimate that the high population has a lower stellar metallicity (i.e. harder ionizing spectrum) but slightly higher nebular metallicity and higher ionizationmore »parameter compared to the low population. While the high population is more α-enhanced (i.e. higher α/Fe) than the low population, both samples are significantly more α-enhanced compared to local star-forming galaxies with similar rest-optical line ratios. These differences must be accounted for in all high-redshift star-forming galaxies – not only those ‘offset’ from local excitation sequences.« less
  7. Abstract We have modeled the velocity-resolved reverberation response of the H β broad emission line in nine Seyfert 1 galaxies from the Lick Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) Monitoring Project 2016 sample, drawing inferences on the geometry and structure of the low-ionization broad-line region (BLR) and the mass of the central supermassive black hole. Overall, we find that the H β BLR is generally a thick disk viewed at low to moderate inclination angles. We combine our sample with prior studies and investigate line-profile shape dependence, such as log 10 ( FWHM / σ ) , on BLR structure and kinematics and search for any BLR luminosity-dependent trends. We find marginal evidence for an anticorrelation between the profile shape of the broad H β emission line and the Eddington ratio, when using the rms spectrum. However, we do not find any luminosity-dependent trends, and conclude that AGNs have diverse BLR structure and kinematics, consistent with the hypothesis of transient AGN/BLR conditions rather than systematic trends.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  8. Abstract

    We carried out spectroscopic monitoring of 21 low-redshift Seyfert 1 galaxies using the Kast double spectrograph on the 3 m Shane telescope at Lick Observatory from 2016 April to 2017 May. Targeting active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with luminosities ofλLλ(5100 Å) ≈ 1044erg s−1and predicted Hβlags of ∼20–30 days or black hole masses of 107–108.5M, our campaign probes luminosity-dependent trends in broad-line region (BLR) structure and dynamics as well as to improve calibrations for single-epoch estimates of quasar black hole masses. Here we present the first results from the campaign, including Hβemission-line light curves, integrated Hβlag times (8–30 days) measured againstV-band continuum light curves, velocity-resolved reverberation lags, line widths of the broad Hβcomponents, and virial black hole mass estimates (107.1–108.1M). Our results add significantly to the number of existing velocity-resolved lag measurements and reveal a diversity of BLR gas kinematics at moderately high AGN luminosities. AGN continuum luminosity appears not to be correlated with the type of kinematics that its BLR gas may exhibit. Follow-up direct modeling of this data set will elucidate the detailed kinematics and provide robust dynamical black hole masses for several objects in this sample.


    The combination of the MOSDEF and KBSS-MOSFIRE surveys represents the largest joint investment of Keck/MOSFIRE time to date, with ∼3000 galaxies at 1.4 ≲ z ≲ 3.8, roughly half of which are at z ∼ 2. MOSDEF is photometric- and spectroscopic-redshift selected with a rest-optical magnitude limit, while KBSS-MOSFIRE is primarily selected based on rest-UV colours and a rest-UV magnitude limit. Analysing both surveys in a uniform manner with consistent spectral-energy-distribution (SED) models, we find that the MOSDEF z ∼ 2 targeted sample has higher median M* and redder rest U−V colour than the KBSS-MOSFIRE z ∼ 2 targeted sample, and smaller median SED-based SFR and sSFR (SFR(SED) and sSFR(SED)). Specifically, MOSDEF targeted a larger population of red galaxies with U−V and V−J ≥1.25, while KBSS-MOSFIRE contains more young galaxies with intense star formation. Despite these differences in the z ∼ 2 targeted samples, the subsets of the surveys with multiple emission lines detected and analysed in previous work are much more similar. All median host-galaxy properties with the exception of stellar population age – i.e. M*, SFR(SED), sSFR(SED), AV, and UVJ colours – agree within the uncertainties. Additionally, when uniform emission-line fitting and stellar Balmer absorption correction techniquesmore »are applied, there is no significant offset between both samples in the [O iii]λ5008/H β versus [N ii]λ6585/H α diagnostic diagram, in contrast to previously reported discrepancies. We can now combine the MOSDEF and KBSS-MOSFIRE surveys to form the largest z ∼ 2 sample with moderate-resolution rest-optical spectra and construct the fundamental scaling relations of star-forming galaxies during this important epoch.

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