A Deep Probe of the Galaxy Stellar Mass Functions at z~1-3 with the GOODS NICMOS Survey

Дата и время публикации : 2011-01-14T17:30:10Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Alice Mortlock
Christopher J. Conselice
Asa F. L. Bluck
Amanda E. Bauer
Ruth Gruetzbauch
Fernando Buitrago
Jamie Ownsworth

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 16 pages, 11 figures, MNRAS, accepted
Первичная категория: astro-ph.GA

Все категории : astro-ph.GA

Краткий обзор статьи: We use a sample of 8298 galaxies observed in the HST GOODS NICMOS Survey (GNS) to construct the galaxy stellar mass function as a function of both redshift and stellar mass up to z=3.5 and down to masses of Mstar=10^8.5 Msun at z~1. We discover that a significant fraction of all massive Mstar>10^11 Msun galaxies are in place up to the highest redshifts we probe, with a decreasing fraction of lower mass galaxies present at all redshifts. This is an example of `galaxy mass downsizing’, and is the result of massive galaxies forming before lower mass ones, and not just simply ending their star formation earlier as in traditional downsizing scenarios. We find that the faint end slope is significantly steeper than what is found in previous investigations. We demonstrate that this steeper mass function better matches the stellar mass added due to star formation, thereby alleviating some of the mismatch between these two measures of the evolution of galaxy mass. We furthermore examine the stellar mass function divided into blue/red systems, as well as for star forming and non-star forming galaxies. We find a similar mass downsizing present for both blue/red and star-forming/non-star forming galaxies, and that the low mass galaxies are mostly all blue, and are therefore creating the steep mass functions. We furthermore show that, although there is a downsizing such that high mass galaxies are nearer their z=0 values at high redshift, this turns over at masses Mstar~10^10 Msun, such that the lowest mass galaxies are more common than galaxies at slight higher masses, creating a `dip’ in the observed galaxy mass function. We argue that the galaxy assembly process may be driven by different mechanisms at low and high masses, and that the efficiency of the galaxy formation process is lowest at masses Mstar~10^10 Msun at 1<z<3. (Abridged)

Category: Physics