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  1. Abstract We present a sample of 30 massive (log( M * / M ⊙ ) > 11) z = 3–5 quiescent galaxies selected from the Spitzer-HETDEX Exploratory Large Area (SHELA) Survey and observed at 1.1 mm with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Band 6 observations. These ALMA observations would detect even modest levels of dust-obscured star formation, on the order of ∼20 M ⊙ yr −1 at z ∼ 4 at the 1 σ level, allowing us to quantify the amount of contamination from dusty star-forming sources in our quiescent sample. Starting with a parent sample of candidate massive quiescent galaxies from the Stevans et al. v1 SHELA catalog, we use the Bayesian B agpipes spectral energy distribution fitting code to derive robust stellar masses ( M * ) and star formation rates (SFRs) for these sources, and select a conservative sample of 36 candidate massive ( M * > 10 11 M ⊙ ) quiescent galaxies, with specific SFRs >2 σ below the Salmon et al. star-forming main sequence at z ∼ 4. Based on the ALMA imaging, six of these candidate quiescent galaxies show the presence of significant dust-obscured star formation, and thus were removed from our final sample. This implies a ∼17% contamination rate from dusty star-forming galaxies with our selection criteria using the v1 SHELA catalog. This conservatively selected quiescent galaxy sample at z = 3–5 will provide excellent targets for future observations to constrain better how massive galaxies can both grow and shut down their star formation in a relatively short period. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Recent studies have revealed a strong relation between the sample-averaged black hole (BH) accretion rate (BHAR) and star formation rate (SFR) among bulge-dominated galaxies—i.e., “lockstep” BH–bulge growth—in the distant universe. This relation might be closely connected to the BH–bulge mass correlation observed in the local universe. To further understand BH–bulge coevolution, we present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) CO(2–1) or CO(3–2) observations of seven star-forming bulge-dominated galaxies at z = 0.5–2.5. Using the ALMA data, we detect significant (>3 σ ) CO emission from four objects. For our sample of seven galaxies, we measure (or constrain with upper limits) their CO line fluxes and estimate their molecular gas masses ( M gas ). We also estimate their stellar masses ( M star ) and SFRs, by modeling their spectral energy distributions. Using these physical properties, we derive the gas depletion timescales ( τ dep ≡ M gas /SFR) and compare them with the bulge/BH growth timescales ( τ grow ≡ M star /SFR ∼ M BH /BHAR). Our sample generally has τ dep shorter than τ grow by a median factor of ≳4, indicating that the cold gas will be depleted before significant bulge/BH growth takes place. This result suggests that BH–bulge lockstep growth is mainly responsible for maintaining the mass relation, not creating it. We note that our sample is small and limited to z < 2.5; JWST and ALMA will be able to probe to higher redshifts in the near future. 
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  3. Abstract

    We present visual classifications of merger-induced tidal disturbances in 143M*∼ 1011Mpost-starburst galaxies atz∼ 0.7 identified in theSQuIGGLESample. This sample spectroscopically selects galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that have stopped their primary epoch of star formation within the past ∼500 Myr. Visual classifications are performed on Hyper Suprime-Cam imaging. We compare to a control sample of mass- and redshift-matched star-forming and quiescent galaxies from the Large Early Galaxy Census and find that post-starburst galaxies are more likely to be classified as disturbed than either category. This corresponds to a factor of3.61.3+2.9times the disturbance rate of older quiescent galaxies and2.1.73+1.9times the disturbance rate of star-forming galaxies. Assuming tidal features persist for ≲500 Myr, this suggests merging is coincident with quenching in a significant fraction of these post-starbursts. Galaxies with tidal disturbances are younger on average than undisturbed post-starburst galaxies in our sample, suggesting tidal features from a major merger may have faded over time. This may be exacerbated by the fact that, on average, the undisturbed subset is fainter, rendering low-surface-brightness tidal features harder to identify. However, the presence of 10 young (≲150 Myr since quenching) undisturbed galaxies suggests that major mergers are not the only fast physical mechanism that shut down the primary epoch of star formation in massive galaxies at intermediate redshift.

     
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  4. Abstract Accurate models of the star formation histories (SFHs) of recently quenched galaxies can provide constraints on when and how galaxies shut down their star formation. The recent development of nonparametric SFH models promises the flexibility required to make these measurements. However, model and prior choices significantly affect derived SFHs, particularly for post-starburst galaxies (PSBs), which have sharp changes in their recent SFH. In this paper, we create mock PSBs, then use the Prospector SED fitting software to test how well four different SFH models recover key properties. We find that a two-component parametric model performs well for our simple mock galaxies, but is sensitive to model mismatches. The fixed- and flexible-bin nonparametric models included in Prospector are able to rapidly quench a major burst of star formation, but systematically underestimate the post-burst age by up to 200 Myr. We develop a custom SFH model that allows for additional flexibility in the recent SFH. Our flexible nonparametric model is able to constrain post-burst ages with no significant offset and just ∼90 Myr of scatter. Our results suggest that while standard nonparametric models are able to recover first-order quantities of the SFH (mass, SFR, average age), accurately recovering higher-order quantities (burst fraction, quenching time) requires careful consideration of model flexibility. These mock recovery tests are a critical part of future SFH studies. Finally, we show that our new, public SFH model is able to accurately recover the properties of mock star-forming and quiescent galaxies and is suitable for broader use in the SED fitting community. https://github.com/bd-j/prospector 
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  5. Abstract

    SPT0311-58, a system of two interacting galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization, exists in one of the rarest, most massive dark matter halos theoretically possible in that era. Studying the interstellar medium (ISM) in these galaxies can illuminate the process of galaxy formation in the early Universe. In this work, we explore the multiphase ISM in this system, using ALMA observations of the [Cii] 158, [Oi] 146, [Nii] 122, and [Oiii] 88 fine-structure lines and dust continuum. We find wide variations in line ratios between the eastern and western galaxies, as well as across the western galaxy. Continuum colors indicate that SPT0311-58 E has a higher ionization parameter (logU2.8) than SPT0311-58 W (logU3.1). The ratio of [Oiii] 88–[Nii] 122 and the ionization parameter constraints combine to demonstrate near-solar metallicity in these objects just 800 Myr after the Big Bang.

     
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  6. Abstract We present structural measurements of 145 spectroscopically selected intermediate-redshift ( z ∼ 0.7), massive ( M ⋆ ∼ 10 11 M ⊙ ) post-starburst galaxies from the SQuIGG L ⃗ E sample measured using wide-depth Hyper Suprime-Cam i -band imaging. This deep imaging allows us to probe the sizes and structures of these galaxies, which we compare to a control sample of star-forming and quiescent galaxies drawn from the LEGA-C Survey. We find that post-starburst galaxies systematically lie ∼0.1 dex below the quiescent mass–size (half-light radius) relation, with a scatter of ∼0.2 dex. This finding is bolstered by nonparametric measures, such as the Gini coefficient and the concentration, which also reveal these galaxies to have more compact light profiles than both quiescent and star-forming populations at similar mass and redshift. The sizes of post-starburst galaxies show either negative or no correlation with the time since quenching, such that more recently quenched galaxies are larger or similarly sized. This empirical finding disfavors the formation of post-starburst galaxies via a purely central burst of star formation that simultaneously shrinks the galaxy and shuts off star formation. We show that the central densities of post-starburst and quiescent galaxies at this epoch are very similar, in contrast with their effective radii. The structural properties of z ∼ 0.7 post-starburst galaxies match those of quiescent galaxies that formed in the early universe, suggesting that rapid quenching in the present epoch is driven by a similar mechanism to the one at high redshift. 
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  7. Abstract

    Observations and simulations have demonstrated that star formation in galaxies must be actively suppressed to prevent the formation of overly massive galaxies. Galactic outflows driven by stellar feedback or supermassive black hole accretion are often invoked to regulate the amount of cold molecular gas available for future star formation but may not be the only relevant quenching processes in all galaxies. We present the discovery of vast molecular tidal features extending up to 64 kpc outside of a massivez= 0.646 post-starburst galaxy that recently concluded its primary star-forming episode. The tidal tails contain (1.2 ± 0.1) × 1010Mof molecular gas, 47% ± 5% of the total cold gas reservoir of the system. Both the scale and magnitude of the molecular tidal features are unprecedented compared to all known nearby or high-redshift merging systems. We infer that the cold gas was stripped from the host galaxies during the merger, which is most likely responsible for triggering the initial burst phase and the subsequent suppression of star formation. While only a single example, this result shows that galaxy mergers can regulate the cold gas contents in distant galaxies by directly removing a large fraction of the molecular gas fuel, and plausibly suppress star formation directly, a qualitatively different physical mechanism than feedback-driven outflows.

     
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  8. Abstract

    A complete census of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) at early epochs is necessary to constrain the obscured contribution to the cosmic star formation rate density (CSFRD); however, DSFGs beyondz∼ 4 are both rare and hard to identify from photometric data alone due to degeneracies in submillimeter photometry with redshift. Here, we present a pilot study obtaining follow-up Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) 2 mm observations of a complete sample of 39 850μm-bright dusty galaxies in the SSA22 field. Empirical modeling suggests 2 mm imaging of existing samples of DSFGs selected at 850μm—1 mm can quickly and easily isolate the “needle in a haystack” DSFGs that sit atz> 4 or beyond. Combining archival submillimeter imaging with our measured ALMA 2 mm photometry (1σ∼ 0.08 mJy beam−1rms), we characterize the galaxies’ IR spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and use them to constrain redshifts. With available redshift constraints fit via the combination of six submillimeter bands, we identify 6/39 high-zcandidates each with >50% likelihood to sit atz> 4, and find a positive correlation between redshift and 2 mm flux density. Specifically, our models suggest the addition of 2 mm to a moderately constrained IR SED will improve the accuracy of a millimeter-derived redshift from Δz/(1 +z) = 0.3 to Δz/(1 +z) = 0.2. Our IR SED characterizations provide evidence for relatively high-emissivity spectral indices (〈β〉 = 2.4 ± 0.3) in the sample. We measure that especially bright (S850μm> 5.55 mJy) DSFGs contribute ∼10% to the cosmic-averaged CSFRD from 2 <z< 5, confirming findings from previous work with similar samples.

     
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  9. Abstract We describe the Studying Quenching in Intermediate- z Galaxies: Gas, angu L → ar momentum, and Evolution ( SQuIGG L ⃗ E ) survey of intermediate-redshift post-starburst galaxies. We leverage the large sky coverage of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to select ∼ 1300 recently quenched galaxies at 0.5 < z ≤ 0.9 based on their unique spectral shapes. These bright, intermediate-redshift galaxies are ideal laboratories to study the physics responsible for the rapid quenching of star formation: they are distant enough to be useful analogs for high-redshift quenching galaxies, but low enough redshift that multiwavelength follow-up observations are feasible with modest telescope investments. We use the Prospector code to infer the stellar population properties and nonparametric star formation histories (SFHs) of all galaxies in the sample. We find that SQuIGG L ⃗ E galaxies are both very massive ( M * ∼ 10 11.25 M ⊙ ) and quenched, with inferred star formation rates ≲1 M ⊙ yr −1 , more than an order of magnitude below the star-forming main sequence. The best-fit SFHs confirm that these galaxies recently quenched a major burst of star formation: >75% of SQuIGG L ⃗ E galaxies formed at least a quarter of their total stellar mass in the recent burst, which ended just ∼200 Myr before observation. We find that SQuIGG L ⃗ E galaxies are on average younger and more burst-dominated than most other z ≲ 1 post-starburst galaxy samples. This large sample of bright post-starburst galaxies at intermediate redshift opens a wide range of studies into the quenching process. In particular, the full SQuIGG L ⃗ E survey will investigate the molecular gas reservoirs, morphologies, kinematics, resolved stellar populations, active galactic nucleus incidence, and infrared properties of this unique sample of galaxies in order to place definitive constraints on the quenching process. 
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  10. Abstract

    We use ALMA observations of CO(2–1) in 13 massive (M*≳ 1011M) poststarburst galaxies atz∼ 0.6 to constrain the molecular gas content in galaxies shortly after they quench their major star-forming episode. The poststarburst galaxies in this study are selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopic samples (Data Release 14) based on their spectral shapes, as part of the Studying QUenching at Intermediate-z Galaxies: Gas, anguLarmomentum, and Evolution (SQuIGGLE) program. Early results showed that two poststarburst galaxies host large H2reservoirs despite their low inferred star formation rates (SFRs). Here we expand this analysis to a larger statistical sample of 13 galaxies. Six of the primary targets (45%) are detected, withMH2109M. Given their high stellar masses, this mass limit corresponds to an average gas fraction offH2MH2/M*7%or ∼14% using lower stellar masses estimates derived from analytic, exponentially declining star formation histories. The gas fraction correlates with theDn4000 spectral index, suggesting that the cold gas reservoirs decrease with time since burst, as found in local K+A galaxies. Star formation histories derived from flexible stellar population synthesis modeling support this empirical finding: galaxies that quenched ≲150 Myr prior to observation host detectable CO(2–1) emission, while older poststarburst galaxies are undetected. The large H2reservoirs and low SFRs in the sample imply that the quenching of star formation precedes the disappearance of the cold gas reservoirs. However, within the following 100–200 Myr, theSQuIGGLEgalaxies require the additional and efficient heating or removal of cold gas to bring their low SFRs in line with standard H2scaling relations.

     
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