The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south

T. A. Targett, J. S. Dunlop, M. Cirasuolo, R. J. McLure, V. A. Bruce, A. Fontana, A. Galametz, D. Paris, Romeel S Dave, A. Dekel, S. M. Faber, H. C. Ferguson, N. A. Grogin, J. S. Kartaltepe, D. D. Kocevski, A. M. Koekemoer, P. Kurczynski, K. Lai, J. Lotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

We have exploited the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) J and H-band Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)/infrared (IR) imaging to study the properties of (sub-)millimetre galaxies within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey South (GOODS-South) field. After using the deep radio (Very Large Array 1.4 GHz) and Spitzer (Infrared Array Camera 8 μm) imaging to identify galaxy counterparts for the (sub-)millimetre sources, we have then utilized the new CANDELS WFC3/IR imaging in two ways. First, the addition of new deep near-IR photometry from both HST and (at K band) the VLT to the existing GOODS-South data base has enabled us to derive improved photometric redshifts and stellar masses, confirming that the (sub-)millimetre sources are massive (〈M*〉 = 2.2 × 1011 ± 0.2Mȯ) galaxies at z ≃ 1-3. Secondly, we have exploited the depth and resolution of the WFC3/IR imaging to determine the sizes and morphologies of the galaxies at rest-frame optical wavelengths λrest > 4000 Å. Specifically, we have fitted two-dimensional axisymmetric galaxy models to the WFC3/IR images, varying luminosity, axial ratio, half-light radius r1/2 and Sérsic index n. Crucially, the wavelength and depth of the WFC3/IR imaging enables modelling of the mass-dominant galaxy, rather than the blue high surface-brightness features which often dominate optical (rest-frame ultraviolet) images of (sub-)millimetre galaxies, and can confuse visual morphological classification. As a result of this analysis, we find that >95 per cent of the rest-frame optical light in almost all of the (sub-)millimetre galaxies is well described by either a single exponential disc (n ≃ 1), or a multiple-component system in which the dominant constituent is disc like. We demonstrate that this conclusion is completely consistent with the results of recent high-quality groundbased K-band imaging sampling even longer rest-frame wavelengths, and explain why it is so. These massive disc galaxies are reasonably extended (〈r1/2〉 = 4.5 ± 0.5 kpc; median r1/2 = 4.0 kpc), consistent with the sizes of other massive star-forming discs at z ≃ 2. In many cases, we find evidence of blue clumps within the sources, with the mass-dominant disc component becoming more significant at longer wavelengths. Finally, only a minority of the sources show evidence for a major galaxy-galaxy interaction. Taken together, these results support the view that most (sub-)millimetre galaxies at z ≃ 2 are simply the most extreme examples of normal star-forming galaxies at that era. Interestingly, the only two bulge-dominated galaxies are also the two lowest redshift sources in the sample (z ≃ 1), a result which may reflect the structural evolution of high-mass galaxies in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2012-2042
Number of pages31
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume432
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Hubble Space Telescope
assembly
cameras
galaxies
wavelength
near infrared
observatory
radio
extremely high frequencies
wavelengths
goods
sampling
observatories
modeling
interacting galaxies
infrared photometry
Very Large Array (VLA)
disk galaxies
data bases
clumps

Keywords

  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Targett, T. A., Dunlop, J. S., Cirasuolo, M., McLure, R. J., Bruce, V. A., Fontana, A., ... Lotz, J. (2013). The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 432(3), 2012-2042. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt482

The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south. / Targett, T. A.; Dunlop, J. S.; Cirasuolo, M.; McLure, R. J.; Bruce, V. A.; Fontana, A.; Galametz, A.; Paris, D.; Dave, Romeel S; Dekel, A.; Faber, S. M.; Ferguson, H. C.; Grogin, N. A.; Kartaltepe, J. S.; Kocevski, D. D.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Kurczynski, P.; Lai, K.; Lotz, J.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 432, No. 3, 06.2013, p. 2012-2042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Targett, TA, Dunlop, JS, Cirasuolo, M, McLure, RJ, Bruce, VA, Fontana, A, Galametz, A, Paris, D, Dave, RS, Dekel, A, Faber, SM, Ferguson, HC, Grogin, NA, Kartaltepe, JS, Kocevski, DD, Koekemoer, AM, Kurczynski, P, Lai, K & Lotz, J 2013, 'The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 432, no. 3, pp. 2012-2042. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt482
Targett, T. A. ; Dunlop, J. S. ; Cirasuolo, M. ; McLure, R. J. ; Bruce, V. A. ; Fontana, A. ; Galametz, A. ; Paris, D. ; Dave, Romeel S ; Dekel, A. ; Faber, S. M. ; Ferguson, H. C. ; Grogin, N. A. ; Kartaltepe, J. S. ; Kocevski, D. D. ; Koekemoer, A. M. ; Kurczynski, P. ; Lai, K. ; Lotz, J. / The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2013 ; Vol. 432, No. 3. pp. 2012-2042.
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author = "Targett, {T. A.} and Dunlop, {J. S.} and M. Cirasuolo and McLure, {R. J.} and Bruce, {V. A.} and A. Fontana and A. Galametz and D. Paris and Dave, {Romeel S} and A. Dekel and Faber, {S. M.} and Ferguson, {H. C.} and Grogin, {N. A.} and Kartaltepe, {J. S.} and Kocevski, {D. D.} and Koekemoer, {A. M.} and P. Kurczynski and K. Lai and J. Lotz",
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T1 - The properties of (sub-)millimetre-selected galaxies as revealed by CANDELS HST WFC3/IR imaging in GOODS-south

AU - Targett, T. A.

AU - Dunlop, J. S.

AU - Cirasuolo, M.

AU - McLure, R. J.

AU - Bruce, V. A.

AU - Fontana, A.

AU - Galametz, A.

AU - Paris, D.

AU - Dave, Romeel S

AU - Dekel, A.

AU - Faber, S. M.

AU - Ferguson, H. C.

AU - Grogin, N. A.

AU - Kartaltepe, J. S.

AU - Kocevski, D. D.

AU - Koekemoer, A. M.

AU - Kurczynski, P.

AU - Lai, K.

AU - Lotz, J.

PY - 2013/6

Y1 - 2013/6

N2 - We have exploited the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) J and H-band Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)/infrared (IR) imaging to study the properties of (sub-)millimetre galaxies within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey South (GOODS-South) field. After using the deep radio (Very Large Array 1.4 GHz) and Spitzer (Infrared Array Camera 8 μm) imaging to identify galaxy counterparts for the (sub-)millimetre sources, we have then utilized the new CANDELS WFC3/IR imaging in two ways. First, the addition of new deep near-IR photometry from both HST and (at K band) the VLT to the existing GOODS-South data base has enabled us to derive improved photometric redshifts and stellar masses, confirming that the (sub-)millimetre sources are massive (〈M*〉 = 2.2 × 1011 ± 0.2Mȯ) galaxies at z ≃ 1-3. Secondly, we have exploited the depth and resolution of the WFC3/IR imaging to determine the sizes and morphologies of the galaxies at rest-frame optical wavelengths λrest > 4000 Å. Specifically, we have fitted two-dimensional axisymmetric galaxy models to the WFC3/IR images, varying luminosity, axial ratio, half-light radius r1/2 and Sérsic index n. Crucially, the wavelength and depth of the WFC3/IR imaging enables modelling of the mass-dominant galaxy, rather than the blue high surface-brightness features which often dominate optical (rest-frame ultraviolet) images of (sub-)millimetre galaxies, and can confuse visual morphological classification. As a result of this analysis, we find that >95 per cent of the rest-frame optical light in almost all of the (sub-)millimetre galaxies is well described by either a single exponential disc (n ≃ 1), or a multiple-component system in which the dominant constituent is disc like. We demonstrate that this conclusion is completely consistent with the results of recent high-quality groundbased K-band imaging sampling even longer rest-frame wavelengths, and explain why it is so. These massive disc galaxies are reasonably extended (〈r1/2〉 = 4.5 ± 0.5 kpc; median r1/2 = 4.0 kpc), consistent with the sizes of other massive star-forming discs at z ≃ 2. In many cases, we find evidence of blue clumps within the sources, with the mass-dominant disc component becoming more significant at longer wavelengths. Finally, only a minority of the sources show evidence for a major galaxy-galaxy interaction. Taken together, these results support the view that most (sub-)millimetre galaxies at z ≃ 2 are simply the most extreme examples of normal star-forming galaxies at that era. Interestingly, the only two bulge-dominated galaxies are also the two lowest redshift sources in the sample (z ≃ 1), a result which may reflect the structural evolution of high-mass galaxies in general.

AB - We have exploited the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) J and H-band Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3)/infrared (IR) imaging to study the properties of (sub-)millimetre galaxies within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey South (GOODS-South) field. After using the deep radio (Very Large Array 1.4 GHz) and Spitzer (Infrared Array Camera 8 μm) imaging to identify galaxy counterparts for the (sub-)millimetre sources, we have then utilized the new CANDELS WFC3/IR imaging in two ways. First, the addition of new deep near-IR photometry from both HST and (at K band) the VLT to the existing GOODS-South data base has enabled us to derive improved photometric redshifts and stellar masses, confirming that the (sub-)millimetre sources are massive (〈M*〉 = 2.2 × 1011 ± 0.2Mȯ) galaxies at z ≃ 1-3. Secondly, we have exploited the depth and resolution of the WFC3/IR imaging to determine the sizes and morphologies of the galaxies at rest-frame optical wavelengths λrest > 4000 Å. Specifically, we have fitted two-dimensional axisymmetric galaxy models to the WFC3/IR images, varying luminosity, axial ratio, half-light radius r1/2 and Sérsic index n. Crucially, the wavelength and depth of the WFC3/IR imaging enables modelling of the mass-dominant galaxy, rather than the blue high surface-brightness features which often dominate optical (rest-frame ultraviolet) images of (sub-)millimetre galaxies, and can confuse visual morphological classification. As a result of this analysis, we find that >95 per cent of the rest-frame optical light in almost all of the (sub-)millimetre galaxies is well described by either a single exponential disc (n ≃ 1), or a multiple-component system in which the dominant constituent is disc like. We demonstrate that this conclusion is completely consistent with the results of recent high-quality groundbased K-band imaging sampling even longer rest-frame wavelengths, and explain why it is so. These massive disc galaxies are reasonably extended (〈r1/2〉 = 4.5 ± 0.5 kpc; median r1/2 = 4.0 kpc), consistent with the sizes of other massive star-forming discs at z ≃ 2. In many cases, we find evidence of blue clumps within the sources, with the mass-dominant disc component becoming more significant at longer wavelengths. Finally, only a minority of the sources show evidence for a major galaxy-galaxy interaction. Taken together, these results support the view that most (sub-)millimetre galaxies at z ≃ 2 are simply the most extreme examples of normal star-forming galaxies at that era. Interestingly, the only two bulge-dominated galaxies are also the two lowest redshift sources in the sample (z ≃ 1), a result which may reflect the structural evolution of high-mass galaxies in general.

KW - Galaxies: active

KW - Galaxies: evolution

KW - Galaxies: fundamental parameters

KW - Galaxies: starburst

KW - Infrared: galaxies

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