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A Highly Consistent Framework for the Evolution of the Star-Forming "Main Sequence" from z~0-6

Speagle, J. S. and Steinhardt, C. L. and Capak, P. L. and Silverman, J. D. (2014) A Highly Consistent Framework for the Evolution of the Star-Forming "Main Sequence" from z~0-6. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 214 (2). Art. No. 15. ISSN 0067-0049. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/214/2/15.

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Using a compilation of 25 studies from the literature, we investigate the evolution of the star-forming galaxy (SFG) main sequence (MS) in stellar mass and star formation rate (SFR) out to z ~ 6. After converting all observations to a common set of calibrations, we find a remarkable consensus among MS observations (~0.1 dex 1σ interpublication scatter). By fitting for time evolution of the MS in bins of constant mass, we deconvolve the observed scatter about the MS within each observed redshift bin. After accounting for observed scatter between different SFR indicators, we find the width of the MS distribution is ~0.2 dex and remains constant over cosmic time. Our best fits indicate the slope of the MS is likely time-dependent, with our best-fit log SFR(M_*, t) = (0.84 ± 0.02 – 0.026 ± 0.003 × t)log M_* – (6.51 ± 0.24 – 0.11 ± 0.03 × t), where t is the age of the universe in Gyr. We use our fits to create empirical evolutionary tracks in order to constrain MS galaxy star formation histories (SFHs), finding that (1) the most accurate representations of MS SFHs are given by delayed-τ models, (2) the decline in fractional stellar mass growth for a "typical" MS galaxy today is approximately linear for most of its lifetime, and (3) scatter about the MS can be generated by galaxies evolving along identical evolutionary tracks assuming an initial 1σ spread in formation times of ~1.4 Gyr.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Speagle, J. S.0000-0002-5065-9896
Steinhardt, C. L.0000-0003-3780-6801
Capak, P. L.0000-0003-3578-6843
Silverman, J. D.0000-0002-0000-6977
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 April 9; accepted 2014 June 24; published 2014 September 18. The authors thank the anonymous referee for thorough and insightful comments that greatly improved the quality of this work. The authors also thank Martin Elvis, Daniel Masters, David Sanders, and David Sobral for their input and helpful comments, as well as Douglas Finkbeiner for advising the junior thesis course where much of this work was completed. In addition, the authors thank Herv´e Aussel, Kevin Bundy, Brian Feldstein, Olivier Ilbert, Emil Khabiboulline, Alex Krolewski, John Moustakas, Alvio Renzini, and Michael Strauss for useful discussions and/or comments. In addition, we thank Stephane Arnouts, Rychard Bouwens, Alison Coil, Loretta Dunne, Alex Karim, Mariska Kriek, Kyoungsoo Lee, Sam Leitner, Georgios Magdis, John Moustakas, EricMurphy, Kai Noeske, Seb Oliver, Samir Salim, Paola Santini, Hyunjin Shim, and David Sobral for providing us with data and/or answering questions about their work. We especially thank Alex Karim, Eric Murphy, and Olivier Ilbert for insightful discussions about stacking and radio SFR observations. JSS thanks Rebecca Bleich for all her support. JSS was partially supported by grants from the Harvard Office of Career Services’ Weismann International Internship Program and the Harvard College Research Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Harvard Office of Career Services’ Weismann International Internship ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Harvard College Research ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: star formation; radio continuum: galaxies; surveys
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141205-080407335
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Official Citation:A Highly Consistent Framework for the Evolution of the Star-Forming "Main Sequence" from z ~ 0-6 J. S. Speagle et al. 2014 ApJS 214 15
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52418
Deposited On:05 Dec 2014 16:42
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:40

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