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First Results from the 3D-HST Survey: The Striking Diversity of Massive Galaxies at z > 1

van Dokkum, Pieter G. and Steidel, Charles C. (2011) First Results from the 3D-HST Survey: The Striking Diversity of Massive Galaxies at z > 1. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 743 (1). Art. No. L15. ISSN 2041-8205.

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We present first results from the 3D-HST program, a near-IR spectroscopic survey performed with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the HST. We have used 3D-HST spectra to measure redshifts and Hα equivalent widths (EWHα) for a complete, stellar mass-limited sample of 34 galaxies at 1 < z < 1.5 with M_(star) > 10^(11) M_☉ in the COSMOS, GOODS, and AEGIS fields. We find that a substantial fraction of massive galaxies at this epoch are forming stars at a high rate: the fraction of galaxies with EW_(Hα) >10 Å is 59%, compared to 10% among Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies of similar masses at z = 0.1. Galaxies with weak Hα emission show absorption lines typical of 2-4 Gyr old stellar populations. The structural parameters of the galaxies, derived from the associated WFC3 F140W imaging data, correlate with the presence of Hα; quiescent galaxies are compact with high Sérsic index and high inferred velocity dispersion, whereas star-forming galaxies are typically large two-armed spiral galaxies, with low Sérsic index. Some of these star-forming galaxies might be progenitors of the most massive S0 and Sa galaxies. Our results challenge the idea that galaxies at fixed mass form a homogeneous population with small scatter in their properties. Instead, we find that massive galaxies form a highly diverse population at z > 1, in marked contrast to the local universe.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
van Dokkum, Pieter G.0000-0002-8282-9888
Steidel, Charles C.0000-0002-4834-7260
Additional Information:© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 August 30; accepted 2011 October 13; published 2011 November 21.
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations; galaxies: evolution
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120104-141106508
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Official Citation:First Results from the 3D-HST Survey: The Striking Diversity of Massive Galaxies at z > 1 Pieter G. van Dokkum et al. 2011 ApJ 743 L15
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:28654
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Jan 2012 22:28
Last Modified:06 Nov 2019 22:25

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