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Published May 1, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Opacity of Galactic Disks at z ~ 0.7


We compare the surface brightness-inclination relation for a sample of COSMOS pure disk galaxies at z ~ 0.7 with an artificially redshifted sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) disks well matched to the COSMOS sample in terms of rest-frame photometry and morphology, as well as their selection and analysis. The offset between the average surface brightness of face-on and edge-on disks in the redshifted SDSS sample matches that predicted by measurements of the optical depth of galactic disks in the nearby universe. In contrast, large disks at z ~ 0.7 have a virtually flat surface brightness-inclination relation, suggesting that they are more opaque than their local counterparts. This could be explained by either an increased amount of optically thick material in disks at higher redshift or a different spatial distribution of the dust.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 February 1; accepted 2010 March 17; published 2010 April 5. We gratefully acknowledge the anonymous referee's helpful suggestions and the contribution of the COSMOS collaboration and its more than 100 scientists worldwide. P.K., P.A.O., C.S., and M.T.S. acknowledge support from the Swiss National Science Foundation. This research was also financed by DFG grant SCHI 536/3-2. The HST COSMOS Treasury programwas supported through NASA grant HST-GO-09822. Facilities: HST (ACS), Subaru (SuprimeCam)

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Published - Sargent2010p9985Astrophys_J_Lett.pdf


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