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Published June 11, 2013 | Submitted + Published + Erratum
Journal Article Open

The Herschel PEP/HerMES luminosity function – I. Probing the evolution of PACS selected Galaxies to z ≃ 4


We exploit the deep and extended far-IR data sets (at 70, 100 and 160 μm) of the Herschel Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) PACS Evolutionary Probe (PEP) Survey, in combination with the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey data at 250, 350 and 500 μm, to derive the evolution of the rest-frame 35-, 60-, 90- and total infrared (IR) luminosity functions (LFs) up to z ∼ 4. We detect very strong luminosity evolution for the total IR LF (L_IR ∝ (1 + z)^3.55 ± 0.10) up to z ∼ 2, and ∝ (1 + z)^(1.62 ± 0.51) at 2 < z ≲ 4) combined with a density evolution (∝(1 + z)^(−0.57 ± 0.22) up to z ∼ 1 and ∝ (1 + z)^(−3.92 ± 0.34) at 1 < z ≲ 4). In agreement with previous findings, the IR luminosity density (ρIR) increases steeply to z ∼ 1, then flattens between z ∼ 1 and z ∼ 3 to decrease at z ≳ 3. Galaxies with different spectral energy distributions, masses and specific star formation rates (SFRs) evolve in very different ways and this large and deep statistical sample is the first one allowing us to separately study the different evolutionary behaviours of the individual IR populations contributing to ρIR. Galaxies occupying the well-established SFR–stellar mass main sequence (MS) are found to dominate both the total IR LF and ρIR at all redshifts, with the contribution from off-MS sources (≥0.6 dex above MS) being nearly constant (∼20 per cent of the total ρIR) and showing no significant signs of increase with increasing z over the whole 0.8 < z < 2.2 range. Sources with mass in the range 10 ≤ log(M/M_⊙) ≤ 11 are found to dominate the total IR LF, with more massive galaxies prevailing at the bright end of the high-z (≳2) LF. A two-fold evolutionary scheme for IR galaxies is envisaged: on the one hand, a starburst-dominated phase in which the Super Massive Black Holes (SMBH) grows and is obscured by dust (possibly triggered by a major merging event), is followed by an AGN-dominated phase, then evolving towards a local elliptical. On the other hand, moderately star-forming galaxies containing a low-luminosity AGN have various properties suggesting they are good candidates for systems in a transition phase preceding the formation of steady spiral galaxies.

Additional Information

© 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 February 18. Received 2013 February 13; in original form 2012 October 23. First published online: April 16, 2013. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. 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); INAFIFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); and 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 Univ. (UK) and including: Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM(France); IFSI,Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); StockholmObservatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCLMSSL, 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). CG and FP acknowledge financial contribution from the contracts PRIN-INAF and ASI-INAF I00507/1 and I005110. PM thanks the University of Trieste for the grant FRA2009. The authors thank an anonymous referee for the helpful comments that greatly improved the quality of the paper.

Attached Files

Published - MNRAS-2013-Gruppioni-23-52.pdf

Submitted - 1302.5209v2.pdf

Erratum - stt1748.pdf


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