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The contribution of very massive high-redshift SWIRE galaxies to the stellar mass function

Berta, S. and Lonsdale, C. J. and Polletta, M. and Savage, R. S. and Franceschini, A. and Buttery, H. and Cimatti, A. and Dias, J. and Feruglio, C. and Fiore, F. and Held, E. V. and La Franca, F. and Maiolino, R. and Marconi, A. and Matute, I. and Oliver, S. J. and Ricciardelli, E. and Rubele, S. and Sacchi, N. and Shupe, D. and Surace, J. (2007) The contribution of very massive high-redshift SWIRE galaxies to the stellar mass function. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 476 (1). pp. 151-175. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Context. In the last couple of years a population of very massive (M_* > 10^(11) M_⊙), high-redshift (z ≥ 2) galaxies has been identified, but its role in galaxy evolution has not yet been fully understood. Aims. It is necessary to perform a systematic study of high-redshift massive galaxies, in order to determine the shape of the very massive tail of the stellar mass function and determine the epoch of their assembly. Methods. We selected high-z massive galaxies at 5.8 μm, in the SWIRE ELAIS-S1 field (1 deg^2). Galaxies with the 1.6 μm stellar peak redshifted into the IRAC bands (z ≃ 1−3, called “IR-peakers”) were identified. Stellar masses were derived by means of spectrophotometric fitting and used to compute the stellar mass function (MF) at z = 1−2 and 2−3. A parametric fit to the MF was performed, based on a Bayesian formalism, and the stellar mass density of massive galaxies above z = 2 determined. Results. We present the first systematic study of the very-massive tail of the galaxy stellar mass function at high redshift. A total of 326 sources were selected. The majority of these galaxies have stellar masses in excess of 10^(11) M_⊙ and lie at z > 1.5. The availability of mid-IR data turned out to be a valuable tool to constrain the contribution of young stars to galaxy SEDs, and thus their M_*/L ratio. The influence of near-IR data and of the chosen stellar library on the SED fitting are also discussed. The z = 2−3 stellar mass function between 10^(11) and ~10^(12) M_⊙ is probed with unprecedented detail. A significant evolution is found not only for galaxies with M ~ 10^(11) M_⊙, but also in the highest mass bins considered. The comoving number density of these galaxies was lower by more than a factor of 10 at z = 2−3, with respect to the local estimate. SWIRE 5.8 μm peakers more massive than 1.6 × 10^(11) M_⊙ provide 30−50% of the total stellar mass density in galaxies at z = 2−3.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Berta, S.0000-0002-0320-1532
Lonsdale, C. J.0000-0003-0898-406X
Polletta, M.0000-0001-7411-5386
Matute, I.0000-0003-1177-3896
Oliver, S. J.0000-0001-7862-1032
Shupe, D.0000-0003-4401-0430
Surace, J.0000-0001-7291-0087
Additional Information:© ESO 2007. Received 16 March 2007. Accepted 24 September 2007 We also would like to thank the whole SWIRE team for preparing the ES1 Spitzer data. We are grateful to Stephan Charlot for very useful discussions about SED fitting, IMF, and AGB stars, and Paolo Cassata on the stellar mass function and units. Finally, SB wishes to thank people at the Sussex Astronomy Center for their warm hospitality. This work made use of observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile: ESO projects No. 168.A-0322, 170.A-0143, 073.A-0446, 075.A-0428. The Spitzer Space Telescope is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. SWIRE was supported by NASA through the SIRTF Legacy Program under contract 1407 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:galaxies : evolution; galaxies : luminosity function; mass function; galaxies high-redshift galaxies; fundamental parameters; galaxies : statistics; infrared : galaxies
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091016-143908375
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Official Citation:The contribution of very massive high-redshift SWIRE galaxies to the stellar mass function S. Berta, C. J. Lonsdale, M. Polletta, R. S. Savage, A. Franceschini, H. Buttery, A. Cimatti, J. Dias, C. Feruglio, F. Fiore, E. V. Held, F. La Franca, R. Maiolino, A. Marconi, I. Matute, S. J. Oliver, E. Ricciardelli, S. Rubele, N. Sacchi, D. Shupe and J. Surace A&A 476 (1) 151-175 (2007) DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077491
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16373
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Oct 2009 17:45
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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