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The Hubble Space Telescope GOODS NICMOS Survey: overview and the evolution of massive galaxies at 1.5 < z < 3

Conselice, C. J. and Chary, R.-R. and Siana, B. and Teplitz, H. (2011) The Hubble Space Telescope GOODS NICMOS Survey: overview and the evolution of massive galaxies at 1.5 < z < 3. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 413 (1). pp. 80-100. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18113.x.

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We present the details and early results from a deep near-infrared survey utilizing the NICMOS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope centred around massive M_* > 10^(11) M_⊙ galaxies at 1.7 < z < 2.9 found within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) fields North and South. The GOODS NICMOS Survey (GNS) was designed to obtain deep F160W (H-band) imaging of 80 of these massive galaxies and other colour-selected objects such as Lyman-break dropouts, BzK objects, distant red galaxies (DRGs), extremely red objects (EROs), Spitzer-selected EROs, BX/BM galaxies, as well as flux-selected submillimetre galaxies. We present in this paper details of the observations, our sample selection, as well as a description of the properties of the massive galaxies found within our survey fields. This includes photometric redshifts, rest-frame colours and stellar masses. We furthermore provide an analysis of the selection methods for finding massive galaxies at high redshifts, including colour-selection methods and how galaxy populations selected through these colour methods overlap. We find that a single colour selection method cannot locate all of the massive galaxies, with no one method finding more than 70 per cent. We however find that the combination of these colour methods finds nearly all of the massive galaxies that would have been identified in a photometric redshift sample, with the exception of apparently rare blue massive galaxies. By investigating the rest-frame (U−B) versus MB diagram for these galaxies, we furthermore show that there exists a bimodality in colour–magnitude space at z < 2, driven by stellar mass, such that the most massive galaxies are systematically red up to z∼ 2.5, while lower mass galaxies tend to be blue. We also discuss the number densities for galaxies with stellar masses M_* > 10^(11) M_⊙, whereby we find an increase of a factor of 8 between z= 3 and 1.5, demonstrating that this is an epoch when massive galaxies establish most of their stellar mass. We also provide an overview of the evolutionary properties of these galaxies, such as their merger histories, and size evolution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Conselice, C. J.0000-0003-1949-7638
Chary, R.-R.0000-0001-7583-0621
Siana, B.0000-0002-4935-9511
Teplitz, H.0000-0002-7064-5424
Additional Information:© 2011 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS. Accepted 2010 November 26. Received 2010 November 17; in original form 2010 August 28. Article first published online: 23 Feb 2011. The data and catalogues as used in the GNS survey are online at We thank Will Hartley for providing diagnostic lines of stellar populations and Omar Almaini for discussions on various aspects of this analysis. We thank STFC for support through studentships and PDRA funding. Support was also provided by NASA/STScI grant HST-GO11082. SJ and TW acknowledge support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) LTSA grant NAG5-13063, NSF grant AST-0607748 and HST grant GO-11082 from STScI, which is operated by AURA, Inc., for NASA, under NAS5-26555.
Group:COSMOS, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110511-113157983
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Hubble Space Telescope GOODS NICMOS Survey: overview and the evolution of massive galaxies at 1.5< z< 3 (pages 80–100) C. J. Conselice, A. F. L. Bluck, F. Buitrago, A. E. Bauer, R. Grützbauch, R. J. Bouwens, S. Bevan, A. Mortlock, M. Dickinson, E. Daddi, H. Yan, Douglas Scott, S. C. Chapman, R.-R. Chary, H. C. Ferguson, M. Giavalisco, N. Grogin, G. Illingworth, S. Jogee, A. M. Koekemoer, Ray A. Lucas, B. Mobasher, L. Moustakas, C. Papovich, S. Ravindranath, B. Siana, H. Teplitz, I. Trujillo, M. Urry and T. Weinzirl Article first published online: 23 FEB 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18113.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23644
Deposited On:12 May 2011 15:08
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:16

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