Journal Article

Evolution of the <i>u</i>-band luminosity function from redshift 1.2 to 0

Matthew Prescott, Ivan K. Baldry and Phil A. James

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 1, pages 90-102
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14859.x
Evolution of the u-band luminosity function from redshift 1.2 to 0

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We produce and analyse u-band (λ≈ 355 nm) luminosity functions (LFs) for the red and blue populations of galaxies using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) u-band Galaxy Survey (uGS) and Deep Evolutionary Exploratory Probe 2 (DEEP2) survey. From a spectroscopic sample of 41 575 SDSS uGS galaxies and 24 561 DEEP2 galaxies, we produce colour magnitude diagrams and make use of the colour bimodality of galaxies to separate red and blue populations. LFs for eight redshift slices in the range 0.01 < z < 1.2 are determined using the 1/Vmax method and fitted with Schechter functions showing that there is significant evolution in M*, with a brightening of 1.4 mag for the combined population. The integration of the Schechter functions yields the evolution in the u-band luminosity density (LD) out to z∼ 1. By parametrizing the evolution as ρ∝ (1 +z)β, we find that β= 1.36 ± 0.2 for the combined populations and β= 2.09 ± 0.2 for the blue population. By removing the contribution of the old stellar population to the u-band LD and correcting for dust attenuation, we estimate the evolution in the star formation rate (SFR) of the Universe to be βSFR= 2.5 ± 0.3. Discrepancies between our result and higher evolution rates measured using the infrared and far-UV can be reconciled by considering possibilities such as an underestimated dust correction at high redshifts or evolution in the stellar initial mass function.

Keywords: surveys; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; ultraviolet: galaxies

Journal Article.  9047 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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