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The Evolution of the IR Luminosity Function and Dust-obscured Star Formation over the Past 13 Billion Years

Zavala, J. A. and Casey, C. M. and Manning, S. M. and Aravena, M. and Bethermin, M. and Caputi, K. I. and Clements, D. L. and Cunha, E. da and Drew, P. and Finkelstein, S. L. and Fujimoto, S. and Hayward, C. and Hodge, J. and Kartaltepe, J. S. and Knudsen, K. and Koekemoer, A. M. and Long, A. S. and Magdis, G. E. and Man, A. W. S. and Popping, G. and Sanders, D. and Scoville, N. and Sheth, K. and Staguhn, J. and Toft, S. and Treister, E. and Vieira, J. D. and Yun, M. S. (2021) The Evolution of the IR Luminosity Function and Dust-obscured Star Formation over the Past 13 Billion Years. Astrophysical Journal, 909 (2). Art. No. 165. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present the first results from the Mapping Obscuration to Reionization with ALMA (MORA) survey, the largest Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) blank-field contiguous survey to date (184 arcmin²) and the only at 2 mm to search for dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs). We use the 13 sources detected above 5σ to estimate the first ALMA galaxy number counts at this wavelength. These number counts are then combined with the state-of-the-art galaxy number counts at 1.2 and 3 mm and with a backward evolution model to place constraints on the evolution of the IR luminosity function and dust-obscured star formation in the past 13 billion years. Our results suggest a steep redshift evolution on the space density of DSFGs and confirm the flattening of the IR luminosity function at faint luminosities, with a slope of α_(LF) = −0.42^(+0.02)_(−0.04). We conclude that the dust-obscured component, which peaks at z ≈ 2–2.5, has dominated the cosmic history of star formation for the past ~12 billion years, back to z ~ 4. At z = 5, the dust-obscured star formation is estimated to be ~35% of the total star formation rate density and decreases to 25%–20% at z = 6–7, implying a minor contribution of dust-enshrouded star formation in the first billion years of the universe. With the dust-obscured star formation history constrained up to the end of the epoch of reionization, our results provide a benchmark to test galaxy formation models, to study the galaxy mass assembly history, and to understand the dust and metal enrichment of the universe at early times.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemData
Zavala, J. A.0000-0002-7051-1100
Casey, C. M.0000-0002-0930-6466
Manning, S. M.0000-0003-0415-0121
Aravena, M.0000-0002-6290-3198
Bethermin, M.0000-0002-3915-2015
Caputi, K. I.0000-0001-8183-1460
Clements, D. L.0000-0002-9548-5033
Cunha, E. da0000-0001-9759-4797
Drew, P.0000-0003-3627-7485
Finkelstein, S. L.0000-0001-8519-1130
Fujimoto, S.0000-0001-7201-5066
Hayward, C.0000-0003-4073-3236
Hodge, J.0000-0001-6586-8845
Kartaltepe, J. S.0000-0001-9187-3605
Knudsen, K.0000-0002-7821-8873
Koekemoer, A. M.0000-0002-6610-2048
Long, A. S.0000-0002-7530-8857
Magdis, G. E.0000-0002-4872-2294
Man, A. W. S.0000-0003-2475-124X
Popping, G.0000-0003-1151-4659
Sanders, D.0000-0002-1233-9998
Scoville, N.0000-0002-0438-3323
Sheth, K.0000-0002-5496-4118
Staguhn, J.0000-0002-8437-0433
Toft, S.0000-0003-3631-7176
Treister, E.0000-0001-7568-6412
Vieira, J. D.0000-0001-7192-3871
Yun, M. S.0000-0001-7095-7543
Alternate Title:The Evolution of the IR Luminosity Function and Dust-obscured Star Formation in the Last 13 Billion Years
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 October 15; revised 2021 January 11; accepted 2021 January 11; published 2021 March 15. We thank the anonymous referee for a careful review of our manuscript and his/her valuable suggestions. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2018.1.00231.S, ADS/JAO.ALMA#2018.1.00478.S, and ADS/JAO.ALMA#2019.1.00838.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Dunlap Institute is funded through an endowment established by the David Dunlap family and the University of Toronto. J.A.Z. and C.M.C. thank the University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences for support. C.M.C. also thanks the National Science Foundation for support through grants AST-1714528 and AST-1814034 and support from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement from a 2019 Cottrell Scholar Award sponsored by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. M.A. has been supported by the grant "CONICYT + PCI + INSTITUTO MAX PLANCK DE ASTRONOMIA MPG190030" and "CONICYT+PCI+REDES 190194." K.I.C. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council through the award of the Consolidator Grant ID 681627-BUILDUP. J.H. acknowledges support of the VIDI research program with project No. 639.042.611, which is (partly) financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). K.K. acknowledges support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. G.E.M. acknowledges the Villum Fonden research grant 13160 "Gas to stars, stars to dust: tracing star formation across cosmic time" and the Cosmic Dawn Center of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation under then grant No. 140. E.T. acknowledges support from FONDECYT Regular 1190818, CONICYT PIA ACT172033, and Basal-CATA AFB170002 grants. Finally, our deepest gratitude to all the people who continue to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data and Materials Availability: This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO. ALMA#2018.1.00231.S, ADS/JAO.ALMA #2018.1.00478.S, and ADS/JAO.ALMA#2019.1.00838.S, archived at
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David Dunlap FamilyUNSPECIFIED
University of TorontoUNSPECIFIED
University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)190194
European Research Council (ERC)681627
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)639.042.611
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Danish National Research Foundation140
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1190818
Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)PIA ACT172033
Subject Keywords:Galaxy evolution; Galaxies; Dust continuum emission; Millimeter astronomy; Submillimeter astronomy; Star formation; High-redshift galaxies; Surveys; Galaxy counts; Luminosity function
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Galaxy evolution (594); Galaxies (573); Dust continuum emission (412); Millimeter astronomy (1061); Submillimeter astronomy (1647); Star formation (1569); High-redshift galaxies (734); Surveys (1671); Galaxy counts
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210325-135516796
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:J. A. Zavala et al 2021 ApJ 909 165
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108561
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Mar 2021 23:02
Last Modified:25 Mar 2021 23:02

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