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Published May 2013 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Evolution of Galaxies and Their Environments at z = 0.1-3 in COSMOS


Large-scale structures (LSSs) out to z < 3.0 are measured in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) using extremely accurate photometric redshifts (photoz). The K_s -band-selected sample (from Ultra-Vista) is comprised of 155,954 galaxies. Two techniques—adaptive smoothing and Voronoi tessellation—are used to estimate the environmental densities within 127 redshift slices. Approximately 250 statistically significant overdense structures are identified out to z = 3.0 with shapes varying from elongated filamentary structures to more circularly symmetric concentrations. We also compare the densities derived for COSMOS with those based on semi-analytic predictions for a ΛCDM simulation and find excellent overall agreement between the mean densities as a function of redshift and the range of densities. The galaxy properties (stellar mass, spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and star formation rates (SFRs)) are strongly correlated with environmental density and redshift, particularly at z < 1.0-1.2. Classifying the spectral type of each galaxy using the rest-frame b – i color (from the photoz SED fitting), we find a strong correlation of early-type galaxies (E-Sa) with high-density environments, while the degree of environmental segregation varies systematically with redshift out to z ~ 1.3. In the highest density regions, 80% of the galaxies are early types at z = 0.2 compared to only 20% at z = 1.5. The SFRs and the star formation timescales exhibit clear environmental correlations. At z > 0.8, the SFR density is uniformly distributed over all environmental density percentiles, while at lower redshifts the dominant contribution is shifted to galaxies in lower density environments.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 November 5; accepted 2013 March 26; published 2013 April 18. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under NASA contract 1407; also based on data collected at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA; the European Southern Observatory under Large Program 175.A-01279, Chile; Kitt Peak National Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which are operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation; the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.; and the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope with MegaPrime/MegaCam operated as a joint project by the CFHT Corporation, CEA/DAPNIA, the NRC and CADC of Canada, the CNRS of France, TERAPIX, and the University of Hawaii. We thank the referee for helpful suggestions that have very much improved this work and we thank Zara Scoville for proofreading of the manuscript. Support for this work was provided by NASA through Contract Number 12712786 issued by JPL. Additional information on the COSMOS survey is available from the main COSMOS Web site at http://www.astro.caltech.edu/cosmos. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the excellent services provided by the NASA IPAC/IRSA staff in providing online archive and server capabilities for the COSMOS data sets. The environmental densities and mpeg versions with all 127 redshift slices of the maps shown in Figures 6–8 will be available in FITS format from the NASA IPAC/IRSA archive at http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/data/COSMOS/. K.S. acknowledges support from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory which is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. G.Q. acknowledges support from the National basic research program of China (program 973 under grant No. 2009CB24901), the Young Researcher Grant of National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, the NSFC grants program (No. 11143005), and the Partner Group program of the Max Planck Society. Facilities: HST (ACS), Subaru (SCAM), Spitzer (IRAC).

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