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The physical nature of rest-UV galaxy morphology during the peak epoch of galaxy formation

Law, David R. and Steidel, Charles C. and Erb, Dawn K. and Pettini, Max and Reddy, Naveen A. and Shapley, Alice E. and Adelberger, Kurt L. and Simenc, David J. (2007) The physical nature of rest-UV galaxy morphology during the peak epoch of galaxy formation. Astrophysical Journal, 656 (1). pp. 1-26. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Motivated by the irregular and little-understood morphologies of z similar to 2-3 galaxies, we use nonparametric coefficients to quantify the morphologies of 216 galaxies that have been spectroscopically confirmed to lie at redshifts z = 1.8-3.4 in the GOODS-N field. Using measurements of UV and optical spectral lines, multiband photometric data, and stellar population models, we statistically assess possible correlations between galaxy morphology and physical observables such as stellar mass, star formation rate, and the strength of galaxy-scale outflows. We find evidence that dustier galaxies have more nebulous UV morphologies and that larger, more luminous galaxies may drive stronger outflows, but we otherwise conclude that UV morphology is either statistically decoupled from the majority of physical observables or determined by too complex a combination of physical processes to provide characterizations with predictive power. Given the absence of strong correlations between UV morphology and physical parameters such as star formation rates, we are therefore unable to support the hypothesis that morphologically irregular galaxies predominantly represent major galaxy mergers. Comparing galaxy samples, we find that IR-selected BzK galaxies and radio-selected submillimeter galaxies have UV morphologies similar to the optically selected sample, while distant red galaxies are more nebulous.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Law, David R.0000-0002-9402-186X
Steidel, Charles C.0000-0002-4834-7260
Erb, Dawn K.0000-0001-9714-2758
Pettini, Max0000-0002-5139-4359
Reddy, Naveen A.0000-0001-9687-4973
Shapley, Alice E.0000-0003-3509-4855
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 August 8; accepted 2006 October 22. D.R.L. and C.C.S. have been supported by grant AST 03-07263 from the US National Science Foundation and archival grant HST-AR 10311 from the Space Telescope Science Institute. The authors thank Rupali Chandar and Christy Tremonti for helpful communications.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFAST 03-07263
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: irregular; galaxies: starburst; galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LAWapj07
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11611
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Sep 2008 02:07
Last Modified:19 Dec 2019 00:17

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