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Published January 11, 2014 | Published
Journal Article Open

HerMES: dust attenuation and star formation activity in ultraviolet-selected samples from z ∼ 4 to ∼ 1.5


We study the link between observed ultraviolet (UV) luminosity, stellar mass and dust attenuation within rest-frame UV-selected samples at z ∼ 4,  ∼ 3 and ∼1.5. We measure by stacking at 250, 350 and 500 μm in the Herschel/Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver images from the Herschel Multi-Tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES) program the average infrared luminosity as a function of stellar mass and UV luminosity. We find that dust attenuation is mostly correlated with stellar mass. There is also a secondary dependence with UV luminosity: at a given UV luminosity, dust attenuation increases with stellar mass, while at a given stellar mass it decreases with UV luminosity. We provide new empirical recipes to correct for dust attenuation given the observed UV luminosity and the stellar mass. Our results also enable us to put new constraints on the average relation between star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass at z ∼ 4, ∼3 and ∼1.5. The SFR–stellar mass relations are well described by power laws (SFR∝M^(0.7__∗), with the amplitudes being similar at z ∼ 4 and ∼3, and decreasing by a factor of 4 at z ∼ 1.5 at a given stellar mass. We further investigate the evolution with redshift of the specific SFR. Our results are in the upper range of previous measurements, in particular at z ∼ 3, and are consistent with a plateau at 3 < z < 4. Current model predictions (either analytic, semi-analytic or hydrodynamic) are inconsistent with these values, as they yield lower predictions than the observations in the redshift range we explore. We use these results to discuss the star formation histories of galaxies in the framework of the main sequence of star-forming galaxies. Our results suggest that galaxies at high redshift (2.5 < z < 4) stay around 1 Gyr on the main sequence. With decreasing redshift, this time increases such that z = 1 main-sequence galaxies with 108

Additional Information

© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 October 9. Received 2013 October 9; in original form 2013 July 30. We thank the referee for useful comments and suggestions. SH and VB acknowledge support from the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales. We thank the COSMOS team for sharing data essential to this study. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff Univ. (UK) and including Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (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 (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC, UKSA (UK) and NASA (USA). The data presented in this paper will be released through the Herschel Database in Marseille HeDaM (http://hedam.oamp.fr/HerMES).

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Published - MNRAS-2014-Heinis-1268-83.pdf


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