Journal Article

Measuring star formation in high-<i>z</i> massive galaxies: a mid-infrared to submillimetre study of the GOODS NICMOS Survey sample

M. P. Viero, L. Moncelsi, E. Mentuch, F. Buitrago, A. E. Bauer, E. L. Chapin, C. J. Conselice, M. J. Devlin, M. Halpern, G. Marsden, C. B. Netterfield, E. Pascale, P. G. Pérez-González, M. Rex, D. Scott, M. W. L. Smith, M. D. P. Truch, I. Trujillo and D. V. Wiebe

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 3, pages 2161-2169
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20456.x
Measuring star formation in high-z massive galaxies: a mid-infrared to submillimetre study of the GOODS NICMOS Survey sample

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We present measurements of the mean mid-infrared to submillimetre flux densities of massive (M≳ 1011 M) galaxies at redshifts 1.7 < z < 2.9, obtained by stacking positions of known objects taken from the GOODS NICMOS Survey (GNS) catalogue on maps at 24 m (Spitzer/MIPS); 70, 100 and 160 m (Herschel/PACS); 250, 350 and 500 m (BLAST); and 870 m (LABOCA). A modified blackbody spectrum fit to the stacked flux densities indicates a median [interquartile] star formation rate (SFR) of SFR = 63[48, 81] M yr−1. We note that not properly accounting for correlations between bands when fitting stacked data can significantly bias the result. The galaxies are divided into two groups, disc-like and spheroid-like, according to their Sérsic indices, n. We find evidence that most of the star formation is occurring in n≤ 2 (disc-like) galaxies, with median [interquartile] SFR = 122[100, 150] M yr−1, while there are indications that the n > 2 (spheroid-like) population may be forming stars at a median [interquartile] SFR = 14[9, 20] M yr−1, if at all. Finally, we show that star formation is a plausible mechanism for size evolution in this population as a whole, but find only marginal evidence that it is what drives the expansion of the spheroid-like galaxies.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; infrared: galaxies

Journal Article.  7288 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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