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Non-parametric analysis of the rest-frame UV sizes and morphological disturbance amongst L_* galaxies at 4 < z < 8

Curtis-Lake, E. and McLure, R. J. and Dunlop, J. S. and Rogers, A. B. and Targett, T. and Dekel, A. and Ellis, R. S. and Faber, S. M. and Ferguson, H. C. and Grogin, N. A. and Kocevski, D. D. and Koekemoer, A. M. and Lai, K. and Mármol-Queraltó, E. and Robertson, B. E. (2016) Non-parametric analysis of the rest-frame UV sizes and morphological disturbance amongst L_* galaxies at 4 < z < 8. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 457 (1). pp. 440-464. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We present the results of a study investigating the sizes and morphologies of redshift 4 < z < 8 galaxies in the CANDELS (Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey) GOODS-S (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey southern field), HUDF (Hubble Ultra-Deep Field) and HUDF parallel fields. Based on non-parametric measurements and incorporating a careful treatment of measurement biases, we quantify the typical size of galaxies at each redshift as the peak of the lognormal size distribution, rather than the arithmetic mean size. Parametrizing the evolution of galaxy half-light radius as r_(50) ∝ (1 + z)^n, we find n = −0.20 ± 0.26 at bright UV-luminosities (0.3L_*(z = 3) < L < L_*) and n = −0.47 ± 0.62 at faint luminosities (0.12L_* < L < 0.3L_*). Furthermore, simulations based on artificially redshifting our z ∼ 4 galaxy sample show that we cannot reject the null hypothesis of no size evolution. We show that this result is caused by a combination of the size-dependent completeness of high-redshift galaxy samples and the underestimation of the sizes of the largest galaxies at a given epoch. To explore the evolution of galaxy morphology we first compare asymmetry measurements to those from a large sample of simulated single Sérsic profiles, in order to robustly categorize galaxies as either ‘smooth’ or ‘disturbed’. Comparing the disturbed fraction amongst bright (M_(1500) ≤ −20) galaxies at each redshift to that obtained by artificially redshifting our z ∼ 4 galaxy sample, while carefully matching the size and UV-luminosity distributions, we find no clear evidence for evolution in galaxy morphology over the redshift interval 4 < z < 8. Therefore, based on our results, a bright (M_(1500) ≤ −20) galaxy at z ∼ 6 is no more likely to be measured as ‘disturbed’ than a comparable galaxy at z ∼ 4, given the current observational constraints.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Dekel, A.0000-0003-4174-0374
Ellis, R. S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Faber, S. M.0000-0003-4996-214X
Ferguson, H. C.0000-0001-7113-2738
Koekemoer, A. M.0000-0002-6610-2048
Robertson, B. E.0000-0002-4271-0364
Additional Information:© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 December 25. Received 2015 December 14; in original form 2014 September 5. EC-L would like to acknowledge financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) as well as the ERC via an Advanced Grant under grant agreement no. 321323-NEOGAL. RJM acknowledges the support of the European Research Council via the award of a Consolidator Grant (PI McLure). JSD acknowledges the support of the European Research Council via the award of an Advanced Grant, and the contribution of EC FP7 SPACE project ASTRODEEP (Ref. no. 312725). ABR acknowledges the award of STFC PhD studentships. AD acknowledges support from ISF grant 24/12, NSF grant AST-1010033 and I-CORE Programme of the PBC and ISF grant 1829/12. This work is based on observations taken by the CANDELS Multi-Cycle Treasury Programme with the NASA/ESA HST, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. This research has benefitted from the SpeX Prism Spectral Libraries, maintained by Adam Burgasser at∼adam/browndwarfs/spexprism.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)321323-NEOGAL
European Research Council (ERC)312725 ASTRODEEP
Israel Science Foundation24/12
Israel Science Foundation1829/12
I-CORE Programme of the Planning and Budgeting CommitteeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution galaxies: high-redshift galaxies: star formation galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160415-080441497
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Official Citation:E. Curtis-Lake, R. J. McLure, J. S. Dunlop, A. B. Rogers, T. Targett, A. Dekel, R. S. Ellis, S. M. Faber, H. C. Ferguson, N. A. Grogin, D. D. Kocevski, A. M. Koekemoer, K. Lai, E. Mármol-Queraltó, and B. E. Robertson Non-parametric analysis of the rest-frame UV sizes and morphological disturbance amongst L* galaxies at 4 < z < 8 MNRAS (March 21, 2016) Vol. 457 440-464 doi:10.1093/mnras/stv3017 First published online January 20, 2016
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66205
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:16 Apr 2016 16:43
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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