A Caltech Library Service

An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the COSMOS field: Physical properties derived from energy balance spectral energy distribution modelling

Miettinen, O. and Capak, P. L. (2017) An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the COSMOS field: Physical properties derived from energy balance spectral energy distribution modelling. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 606 . Art. No. A17. ISSN 0004-6361.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Context. Submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) represent an important source population in the origin and cosmic evolution of the most massive galaxies. Hence, it is imperative to place firm constraints on the fundamental physical properties of large samples of SMGs. Aims. We determine the physical properties of a sample of SMGs in the COSMOS field that were pre-selected at the observed-frame wavelength of λ_(obs) = 1.1 mm, and followed up at λ_(obs) = 1.3 mm with the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA). Methods. We used the MAGPHYS model package to fit the panchromatic (ultraviolet to radio) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 124 of the target SMGs, which lie at a median redshift of z = 2.30 (19.4% are spectroscopically confirmed). The SED analysis was complemented by estimating the gas masses of the SMGs by using the λ_(obs) = 1.3 mm dust emission as a tracer of the molecular gas component. Results. The sample median and 16th–84th percentile ranges of the stellar masses, obscured star formation rates, dust temperatures, and dust and gas masses were derived to be log(M⋆/M⊙) = 11.09^(+0.41)_(-0.53), SFR = 402^(+661)_(-233) M⊙ yr^(-1), T_(dust) = 39.7^(+9.7)_(-7.4) K, log(M_(dust)/M⊙) = 9.01^(+0.20)_(-0.31), and log(M_(gas)/M⊙ = 11.34^(+0.20)_(-0.23), respectively. The M_(dust)/M⋆ ratio was found to decrease as a function of redshift, while the M_(gas)/M_(dust) ratio shows the opposite, positive correlation with redshift. The derived median gas-to-dust ratio of 120^(+73)_(-30) agrees well with the canonical expectation. The gas fraction (M_(gas)/(M_(gas) + M⋆)) was found to range from 0.10 to 0.98 with a median of 0.62^(+0.27)_(-0.23). We found that 57.3% of our SMGs populate the main sequence (MS) of star-forming galaxies, while 41.9% of the sources lie above the MS by a factor of greater than three (one source lies below the MS). These super-MS objects, or starbursts, are preferentially found at z ≳ 3, which likely reflects the sensitivity limit of our source selection. We estimated that the median gas consumption timescale for our SMGs is ~535 Myr, and the super-MS sources appear to consume their gas reservoir faster than their MS counterparts. We found no obvious stellar mass–size correlations for our SMGs, where the sizes were measured in the observed-frame 3 GHz radio emission and rest-frame UV. However, the largest 3 GHz radio sizes are found among the MS sources. Those SMGs that appear irregular in the rest-frame UV are predominantly starbursts, while the MS SMGs are mostly disk-like. Conclusions. The physical parameter distributions of our SMGs and those of the equally bright, 870 μm selected SMGs in the ECDFS field (the so-called ALESS SMGs) are unlikely to be drawn from common parent distributions. This might reflect the difference in the pre-selection wavelength. Albeit being partly a selection bias, the abrupt jump in specific SFR and the offset from the MS of our SMGs at z ≳ 3 might also reflect a more efficient accretion from the cosmic gas streams, higher incidence of gas-rich major mergers, or higher star formation efficiency at z ≳ 3. We found a rather flat average trend between the SFR and dust mass, but a positive SFR−M_(gas) correlation. However, to address the questions of which star formation law(s) our SMGs follow, and how they compare with the Kennicutt-Schmidt law, the dust-emitting sizes of our sources need to be measured. Nonetheless, the larger radio-emitting sizes of the MS SMGs compared to starbursts is a likely indication of their more widespread, less intense star formation activity. The irregular rest-frame UV morphologies of the starburst SMGs are likely to echo their merger nature. The current stellar mass content of the studied SMGs is very high, so they must quench to form the so-called red-and-dead massive ellipticals. Our results suggest that the transition from high-z SMGs to local ellipticals via compact, quiescent galaxies (cQGs) at z ~ 2 might not be universal, and the latter population might also descend from the so-called blue nuggets. However, z ≳ 4 SMGs could be the progenitors of higher redshift, z ≳ 3 cQGs, while our results are also consistent with the possibility that ultra-massive early-type galaxies found at 1.2 ≲ z ≲ 2 experienced an SMG phase at z ≤ 3.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Additional Information:© 2017 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 10 March 2017; Accepted 27 June 2017; Published online 28 September 2017. We would like to thank the anonymous referee for providing comments and suggestions. This research was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme under grant agreement 337595 (ERC Starting Grant, “CoSMass”). M.A. acknowledges partial support from FONDE-CYT through grant 1140099. A.K. acknowledges support by the Collaborative Research Council 956, sub-project A1, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). E.S. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 694343). D.R. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant number AST-1614213 to Cornell University. This work was performed in part at the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by National Science Foundation grant PHY-1066293. This work was partially supported by a grant from the Simons Foundation. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2012.1.00978.S and ADS/JAO.ALMA#2013.1.00118.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. This paper is also partly based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under ESO programme ID 179.A-2005 and on data products produced by TERAPIX and the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit on behalf of the UltraVISTA consortium. This research has made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System, and the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the JPL, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the NASA. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research made use of Astropy, a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013). We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the entire COSMOS collaboration consisting of more than 100 scientists. More information on the COSMOS survey is available at PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAF-IFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain). SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff University (UK) and including Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (PR China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, Univ. Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (PR China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA).
Group:COSMOS, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)337595
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1140099
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)956
European Research Council (ERC)694343
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – galaxies: starburst – galaxies: star formation – submillimeter: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171027-081208066
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:An ALMA survey of submillimetre galaxies in the COSMOS field: Physical properties derived from energy balance spectral energy distribution modelling O. Miettinen, I. Delvecchio, V. Smolčić, M. Aravena, D. Brisbin, A. Karim, B. Magnelli, M. Novak, E. Schinnerer, M. Albrecht, H. Aussel, F. Bertoldi, P. L. Capak, C. M. Casey, C. C. Hayward, O. Ilbert, H. T. Intema, C. Jiang, O. Le Fèvre, H. J. McCracken, A. M. Muñoz Arancibia, F. Navarrete, N. D. Padilla, D. A. Riechers, M. Salvato, K. S. Scott, K. Sheth and L. A. M. Tasca A&A, 606 (2017) A17 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82724
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Oct 2017 16:10
Last Modified:27 Oct 2017 16:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page