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The VLA Frontier Field Survey: A Comparison of the Radio and UV/Optical Size of 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 3 Star-forming Galaxies

Jiménez-Andrade, E. F. and Murphy, E. J. and Heywood, I. and Smail, I. and Penner, K. and Momjian, E. and Dickinson, M. and Armus, L. and Lazio, T. J. W. (2021) The VLA Frontier Field Survey: A Comparison of the Radio and UV/Optical Size of 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 3 Star-forming Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 910 (2). Art. No. 106. ISSN 0004-637X.

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To investigate the growth history of galaxies, we measure the rest-frame radio, ultraviolet (UV), and optical sizes of 98 radio-selected, star-forming galaxies (SFGs) distributed over 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 3 with a median stellar mass of log(M⋆/M⊙) ≈ 10.4. We compare the size of galaxy stellar disks, traced by rest-frame optical emission, relative to the overall extent of star formation activity that is traced by radio continuum emission. Galaxies in our sample are identified in three Hubble Frontier Fields: MACS J0416.1−2403, MACS J0717.5+3745, and MACS J1149.5+2223. Radio continuum sizes are derived from 3 and 6 GHz radio images (≲0.”6 resolution, ≈0.9 μJy beam⁻¹ noise level) from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. Rest-frame UV and optical sizes are derived using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 instruments. We find no clear dependence between the 3 GHz radio size and stellar mass of SFGs, which contrasts with the positive correlation between the UV/optical size and stellar mass of galaxies. Focusing on SFGs with log(M⋆/M⊙) > 10, we find that the radio/UV/optical emission tends to be more compact in galaxies with high star formation rates (≳100 M⊙ yr⁻¹), suggesting that a central, compact starburst (and/or an active galactic nucleus) resides in the most luminous galaxies of our sample. We also find that the physical radio/UV/optical size of radio-selected SFGs with log(M⋆/M⊙) > 10 increases by a factor of 1.5–2 from z ≈ 3 to z ≈ 0.3, yet the radio emission remains two to three times more compact than that from the UV/optical. These findings indicate that these massive, radio-selected SFGs at 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 3 tend to harbor centrally enhanced star formation activity relative to their outer disks.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Jiménez-Andrade, E. F.0000-0002-2640-5917
Murphy, E. J.0000-0001-7089-7325
Heywood, I.0000-0001-6864-5057
Smail, I.0000-0003-3037-257X
Momjian, E.0000-0003-3168-5922
Dickinson, M.0000-0001-5414-5131
Armus, L.0000-0003-3498-2973
Lazio, T. J. W.0000-0002-3873-5497
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 November 16; revised 2021 February 17; accepted 2021 February 19; published 2021 April 2. We thank the reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and their constructive comments. E.F.J.A. gratefully acknowledges the support from the NRAO staff that made remote working feasible during the COVID-19 pandemic. I.H. acknowledges support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/N000919/1); the Oxford Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys, which is funded through generous support from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation; and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF), an agency of the Department of Science and Innovation. I.S. acknowledges support from STFC (ST/T000244/1). Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant No. HST-AR-14306.001-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities. Facilities: HST (ACS - , WFC3) - , VLA. - Software: Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013, 2018), eazy (Brammer et al. 2008), fast (Kriek et al. 2009), lifelines (Davidson-Pilon et al. 2020), PyBDSF (Mohan & Rafferty 2015), SciPy (Virtanen et al. 2020), statmorph (Rodriguez-Gomez et al. 2018).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N000919/1
Hintze Family Charitable FoundationUNSPECIFIED
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)UNSPECIFIED
National Research Foundation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/T000244/1
NASANAS 5-26555
Subject Keywords:Galaxy structure; Galaxy evolution; High-redshift galaxies; Radio continuum emission
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Galaxy structure (622); Galaxy evolution (594); High-redshift galaxies (734); Radio continuum emission (1340)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210413-145347352
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:E. F. Jiménez-Andrade et al 2021 ApJ 910 106
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108719
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Apr 2021 22:08
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:20

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