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Hubble Space Telescope Grism Spectroscopy of Extreme Starbursts across Cosmic Time: The Role of Dwarf Galaxies in the Star Formation History of the Universe

Atek, Hakim and Kneib, Jean-Paul and Pacifici, Camilla and Malkan, Mathew and Charlot, Stephane and Lee, Janice C. and Bedregal, Alejandro and Bunker, Andrew J. and Colbert, James W. and Dressler, Alan and Hathi, Nimish and Lehnert, Matthew and Martin, Crystal L. and McCarthy, Patrick and Rafelski, Marc and Ross, Nathaniel and Siana, Brian and Teplitz, Harry I. and Lehnert, (2014) Hubble Space Telescope Grism Spectroscopy of Extreme Starbursts across Cosmic Time: The Role of Dwarf Galaxies in the Star Formation History of the Universe. Astrophysical Journal, 789 (2). Art. No. 96. ISSN 0004-637X. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140807-113454764

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Abstract

Near infrared slitless spectroscopy with the Wide Field Camera 3, on board the Hubble Space Telescope, offers a unique opportunity to study low-mass galaxy populations at high redshift (z ~ 1-2). While most high-z surveys are biased toward massive galaxies, we are able to select sources via their emission lines that have very faint continua. We investigate the star formation rate (SFR)-stellar mass (M_★) relation for about 1000 emission line galaxies identified over a wide redshift range of 0.3 ≾ z ≾ 2.3. We use the Hα emission as an accurate SFR indicator and correct the broadband photometry for the strong nebular contribution to derive accurate stellar masses down to M_★ ~10^7 M_☉. We focus here on a subsample of galaxies that show extremely strong emission lines (EELGs) with rest-frame equivalent widths ranging from 200 to 1500 Å. This population consists of outliers to the normal SFR-M_★ sequence with much higher specific SFRs (>10 Gyr^(–1)). While on-sequence galaxies follow continuous star formation processes, EELGs are thought to be caught during an extreme burst of star formation that can double their stellar mass in a period of less than 100 Myr. The contribution of the starburst population to the total star formation density appears to be larger than what has been reported for more massive galaxies in previous studies. In the complete mass range 8.2 < log(M_★/M_☉) <10 and a SFR lower completeness limit of about 2 M_☉ yr^(–1) (10 M_☉ yr^(–1)) at z ~ 1 (z ~ 2), we find that starbursts having EW_(rest)(Hα) > 300, 200, and 100 Å contribute up to ~13%, 18%, and 34%, respectively, to the total SFR of emission-line-selected sample at z ~ 1-2. The comparison with samples of massive galaxies shows an increase in the contribution of starbursts toward lower masses.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.4132arXivDiscussion Paper
http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/789/2/96/PublisherArticle
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/789/2/96DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Lehnert, Matthew0000-0003-1939-5885
Rafelski, Marc0000-0002-9946-4731
Siana, Brian0000-0002-4935-9511
Teplitz, Harry I.0000-0002-7064-5424
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 February 17; accepted 2014 April 8; published 2014 June 19. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with programs 11696, 12283, 12568, 12177, and 12328. H.A. and J.P.K. are supported by the European Research Council (ERC) advanced grant “Light on the Dark” (LIDA).C.P. acknowledges support from the KASI-Yonsei Joint Research Program for the Frontiers of Astronomy and Space Science funded by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute. S.C. acknowledges support from the European Research Council via an Advanced Grant under grant agreement No. 321323.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
KASI-Yonsei Joint Research Program for the Frontiers of Astronomy and Space ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)321323
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: statistics, infrared: galaxies, surveys
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140807-113454764
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140807-113454764
Official Citation:Hubble Space Telescope Grism Spectroscopy of Extreme Starbursts across Cosmic Time: The Role of Dwarf Galaxies in the Star Formation History of the Universe Hakim Atek et al. 2014 ApJ 789 96
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48180
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 Aug 2014 19:56
Last Modified:12 Jul 2019 21:32

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