3,462 research outputs found

    Morphological evolution in situ: Disk-dominated cluster red sequences at z ~ 1.25

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    We have carried out a joint photometric and structural analysis of red sequence galaxies in four clusters at a mean redshift of z ~ 1.25 using optical and near-IR HST imaging reaching to at least 3 magnitudes fainter than MM^*. As expected, the photometry and overall galaxy sizes imply purely passive evolution of stellar populations in red sequence cluster galaxies. However, the morphologies of red sequence cluster galaxies at these redshifts show significant differences to those of local counterparts. Apart from the most massive galaxies, the high redshift red sequence galaxies are significantly diskier than their low redshift analogues. These galaxies also show significant colour gradients, again not present in their low redshift equivalents, most straightforwardly explained by radial age gradients. A clear implication of these findings is that red sequence cluster galaxies originally arrive on the sequence as disk-dominated galaxies whose disks subsequently fade or evolve secularly to end up as high S\'ersic index early-type galaxies (classical S0s or possibly ellipticals) at lower redshift. The apparent lack of growth seen in a comparison of high and low redshift red sequence galaxies implies that any evolution is internal and is unlikely to involve significant mergers. While significant star formation may have ended at high redshift, the cluster red sequence population continues to evolve (morphologically) for several Gyrs thereafter.Comment: Accepted by MNRA

    High-redshift galaxies and low-mass stars

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    The sensitivity available to near-infrared surveys has recently allowed us to probe the galaxy population at z ≈ 7 and beyond. The existing Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) Infrared Camera (VIRCam) instruments allow deep surveys to be undertaken well beyond 1 μm – a capability that will be further extended with the launch and commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). As new regions of parameter space in both colour and depth are probed, new challenges for distant galaxy surveys are identified. In this paper, we present an analysis of the colours of L- and T-dwarf stars in widely used photometric systems. We also consider the implications of the newly identified Y-dwarf population – stars that are still cooler and less massive than T-dwarfs for both the photometric selection and spectroscopic follow-up of faint and distant galaxies. We highlight the dangers of working in the low-signal-to-noise regime, and the potential contamination of existing and future samples. We find that Hubble/WFC3 and VISTA/VIRCam Y-drop selections targeting galaxies at z ∼ 7.5 are vulnerable to contamination from T- and Y-class stars. Future observations using JWST, targeting the z ∼ 7 galaxy population, are also likely to prove difficult without deep medium-band observations. We demonstrate that single emission line detections in typical low-signal-to-noise spectroscopic observations may also be suspect, due to the unusual spectral characteristics of the cool dwarf star population

    Dissecting the complex environment of a distant quasar with MUSE

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    High redshift quasars can be used to trace the early growth of massive galaxies and may be triggered by galaxy-galaxy interactions. We present MUSE science verification data on one such interacting system consisting of the well-studied z=3.2 PKS1614+051 quasar, its AGN companion galaxy and bridge of material radiating in Lyalpha between the quasar and its companion. We find a total of four companion galaxies (at least two galaxies are new discoveries), three of which reside within the likely virial radius of the quasar host, suggesting that the system will evolve into a massive elliptical galaxy by the present day. The MUSE data are of sufficient quality to split the extended Lyalpha emission line into narrow velocity channels. In these the gas can be seen extending towards each of the three neighbouring galaxies suggesting that the emission-line gas originates in a gravitational interaction between the galaxies and the quasar host. The photoionization source of this gas is less clear but is probably dominated by the two AGN. The quasar's Lyalpha emission spectrum is double-peaked, likely due to absorbing neutral material at the quasar's systemic redshift with a low column density as no damping wings are present. The spectral profiles of the AGN and bridge's Lyalpha emission are also consistent with absorption at the same redshift indicating this neutral material may extend over > 50 kpc. The fact that the neutral material is seen in the line of sight to the quasar and transverse to it, and the fact that we see the quasar and it also illuminates the emission-line bridge, suggests the quasar radiates isotropically and any obscuring torus is small. These results demonstrate the power of MUSE for investigating the dynamics of interacting systems at high redshift.Comment: 9 pages, 6 figures, published in MNRA

    The cluster environments of radio loud quasars

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    We have carried out multi-colour imaging of the fields of a statistically complete sample of low-frequency selected radio loud quasars at 0.6<z<1.1, in order to determine the characteristics of their environments. The largest radio sources are located in the field, and smaller steep-spectrum sources are more likely to be found in richer environments, from compact groups through to clusters. This radio-based selection (including source size) of high redshift groups and clusters is a highly efficient method of detecting rich environments at these redshifts. Although our single filter clustering measures agree with those of other workers, we show that these statistics cannot be used reliably on fields individually, colour information is required for this.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, contribution to "Tracing Cosmic Evolution with Galaxy Clusters" (Sesto 2001), ASP Conference Serie

    The detection of FIR emission from high redshift star-forming galaxies in the ECDF-S

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    ABRIDGED: We have used the LABOCA Survey of the ECDF-S (LESS) to investigate rest-frame FIR emission from typical SF systems (LBGs) at redshift 3, 4, and 5. We initially concentrate on LBGs at z~3 and select three subsamples on stellar mass, extinction corrected SF and rest-frame UV-magnitude. We produce composite 870micron images of the typical source in our subsamples, obtaining ~4sigma detections and suggesting a correlation between FIR luminosity and stellar mass. We apply a similar procedure to our full samples at z~3, 4, 4.5 and 5 and do not obtain detections - consistent with a simple scaling between FIR luminosity and stellar mass. In order to constrain the FIR SED of these systems we explore their emission at multiple wavelengths spanning the peak of dust emission at z~3 using the Herschel SPIRE observations of the field. We obtain detections at multiple wavelengths for both our stellar mass and UV-magnitude selected samples, and find a best-fit SED with T_dust in the ~33-41K range. We calculate L_FIR, obscured SFRs and M_dust, and find that a significant fraction of SF in these systems is obscured. Interestingly, our extinction corrected SFR sample does not display the large FIR fluxes predicted from its red UV-spectral slope. This suggests that the method of assuming an intrinsic UV-slope and correcting for dust attenuation may be invalid for this sample - and that these are not in fact the most actively SF systems. All of our z~3 samples fall on the `main sequence' of SF galaxies at z~3 and our detected subsamples are likely to represent the high obscuration end of LBGs at their epoch. We compare the FIR properties of our subsamples with various other populations, finding that our stellar mass selected sample shows similar FIR characteristics to SMGs at the same epoch and therefore potentially represents the low L_FIR end of the high redshift FIR luminosity function.Comment: 18 pages, 10 figure, MNRAS accepted, corrected typos, acknowledgements adde

    The Physical Properties of LBGs at z>5: Outflows and the "pre-enrichment problem"

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    We discuss the properties of Lyman Break galaxies (LBGs) at z>5 as determined from disparate fields covering approximately 500 sq. arcmin. While the broad characteristics of the LBG population has been discussed extensively in the literature, such as luminosity functions and clustering amplitude, we focus on the detailed physical properties of the sources in this large survey (>100 with spectroscopic redshifts). Specifically, we discuss ensemble mass estimates, stellar mass surface densities, core phase space densities, star-formation intensities, characteristics of their stellar populations, etc as obtained from multi-wavelength data (rest-frame UV through optical) for a subsample of these galaxies. In particular, we focus on evidence that these galaxies drive vigorous outflows and speculate that this population may solve the so-called ``pre-enrichment problem''. The general picture that emerges from these studies is that these galaxies, observed about 1 Gyr after the Big Bang, have properties consistent with being the progenitors of the densest stellar systems in the local Universe -- the centers of old bulges and early type galaxies.Comment: 4 pages, to appear in "Pathways Through an Eclectic Universe", J. H. Knappen, T. J. Mahoney, and A. Vazedekis (Eds.), ASP Conf. Ser., 200

    A Parkes half-Jansky sample of GPS galaxies

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    This paper describes the selection of a new southern/equatorial sample of Gigahertz Peaked Spectrum (GPS) radio galaxies, and subsequent optical CCD imaging and spectroscopic observations using the ESO 3.6m telescope. The sample consists of 49 sources with -4020 degrees, and S(2.7GHz)>0.5 Jy, selected from the Parkes PKSCAT90 survey. About 80% of the sources are optically identified, and about half of the identifications have available redshifts. The R-band Hubble diagram and evolution of the host galaxies of GPS sources are reviewed.Comment: Latex, 12 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Detection of X-ray emission from the host clusters of 3CR quasars

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    We report the detection of extended X-ray emission around several powerful 3CR quasars with redshifts out to 0.73. The ROSAT HRI images of the quasars have been corrected for spacecraft wobble and compared with an empirical point-spread function. All the quasars examined show excess emission at radii of 15 arcsec and more; the evidence being strong for the more distant objects and weak only for the two nearest ones, which are known from other wavelengths not to lie in strongly clustered environments. The spatial profiles of the extended component is consistent with thermal emission from the intracluster medium of moderately rich host clusters to the quasars. The total luminosities of the clusters are in the range 4x10^44 - 3x10^45 erg/s, assuming a temperature of 4keV. The inner regions of the intracluster medium are, in all cases, dense enough to be part of a cooling flow.Comment: 21 pages including 4 figures and 4 tables. To be published in MNRA

    Tunable-filter imaging of quasar fields at z ~ 1. II. The star-forming galaxy environments of radio-loud quasars

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    We have scanned the fields of six radio-loud quasars using the Taurus Tunable Filter to detect redshifted [OII] 3727 line-emitting galaxies at redshifts 0.8 < z < 1.3. Forty-seven new emission-line galaxy (ELG) candidates are found. This number corresponds to an average space density about 100 times that found locally and, at L([OII]) < 10^{42} erg s^{-1} cm^{-2}, is 2 - 5 times greater than the field ELG density at similar redshifts, implying that radio-loud quasars inhabit sites of above-average star formation activity. The implied star-formation rates are consistent with surveys of field galaxies at z ~ 1. However, the variation in candidate density between fields is large and indicative of a range of environments, from the field to rich clusters. The ELG candidates also cluster -- both spatially and in terms of velocity -- about the radio sources. In fields known to contain rich galaxy clusters, the ELGs lie at the edges and outside the concentrated cores of red, evolved galaxies, consistent with the morphology-density relation seen in low-redshift clusters. This work, combined with other studies, suggests that the ELG environments of powerful AGN look very much the same from moderate to high redshifts, i.e. 0.8 < z < 4.Comment: 18 pages, 18 figures, uses emulateapj.cls. Accepted for publication in A

    Lyman-break galaxies at z~5 -I. First significant stellar mass assembly in galaxies that are not simply z~3 LBGs at higher redshift

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    We determine the ensemble properties of z~5 Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) selected as V-band dropouts to i(AB)<26.3 in the Chandra Deep Field South using their rest-frame UV-to-visible SEDs. By matching the selection and performing the same analysis that has been used for z~3 samples, we show clear differences in the properties of two samples of LBGs which are separated by ~1Gyr in lookback time. We find that z~5 LBGs are typically much younger (<100Myr) and have lower stellar masses (10^9Msol) than their z~3 counterparts. The difference in mass is significant even when considering the presence of an older, underlying population in both samples. Such young and moderately massive systems dominate the luminous z~5 LBG population (>70%), whereas they comprise <30% of LBG samples at z~3. This result is robust under all reasonable modelling assumptions. These intense starbursts appear to be experiencing their first (few) generations of large-scale star formation and are accumulating their first significant stellar mass. Their dominance in luminous LBG samples suggests that z~5 witnesses a period of wide-spread, recent galaxy formation. As such, z~5 LBGs are the likely progenitors of the spheroidal components of present-day massive galaxies. This is supported by their high stellar mass surface densities, their core phase-space densities, as well as the ages of stars in the bulge of our Galaxy and other massive systems. Their high star formation rates per unit area suggest that these systems host outflows or winds that enrich the intra- and inter-galactic media with metals. Their estimated young ages are consistent with inefficient metal-mixing on galaxy-wide scales. Therefore these galaxies may contain a significant fraction of metal-free stars as has been proposed for z~3 LBGs (Jimenez & Haiman 2006). [Abridged]Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 21 pages, 9 postscript figures. For a PDF file with high resolution figures, see http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~averma
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