Journal Article

Star formation in a stellar mass-selected sample of galaxies to <i>z</i>= 3 from the GOODS-NICMOS Survey

A. E. Bauer, C. J. Conselice, P. G. Pérez-González, R. Grützbauch, A. F. L. Bluck, F. Buitrago and A. Mortlock

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 417, issue 1, pages 289-303
Published in print October 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Star formation in a stellar mass-selected sample of galaxies to z= 3 from the GOODS-NICMOS Survey

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We present a study of the star-forming properties of a stellar mass-selected sample of galaxies in the GOODS (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey) NICMOS Survey (GNS), based on deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging of the GOODS North and South fields. Using a stellar mass-selected sample, combined with HST/ACS and Spitzer data to measure both ultraviolet (UV) and infrared-derived star formation rates (SFRs), we investigate the star forming properties of a complete sample of ∼1300 galaxies down to log M*= 9.5 at redshifts 1.5 < z < 3. Eight per cent of the sample is made up of massive galaxies with M*≥ 1011 M. We derive optical colours, dust extinctions and UV and infrared SFR to determine how the SFR changes as a function of both stellar mass and time. Our results show that SFR increases at higher stellar mass such that massive galaxies nearly double their stellar mass from star formation alone over the redshift range studied, but the average value of SFR for a given stellar mass remains constant over this ∼2 Gyr period. Furthermore, we find no strong evolution in the SFR for our sample as a function of mass over our redshift range of interest; in particular we do not find a decline in the SFR among massive galaxies, as is seen at z < 1. The most massive galaxies in our sample (log M*≥ 11) have high average SFRs with values SFRUV, corr= 103 ± 75 M yr−1, and yet exhibit red rest-frame (UB) colours at all redshifts. We conclude that the majority of these red high-redshift massive galaxies are red due to dust extinction. We find that A2800 increases with stellar mass, and show that between 45 and 85 per cent of massive galaxies harbour dusty star formation. These results show that even just a few Gyr after the first galaxies appear, there are strong relations between the global physical properties of galaxies, driven by stellar mass or another underlying feature of galaxies strongly related to the stellar mass.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: star formation

Journal Article.  13796 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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