The stellar mass assembly of galaxies from z = 0 to z = 4: Analysis of a sample selected in the rest-frame near-infrared with Spitzer

Pablo G. Pérez-González, George H. Rieke, Victor Villar, Guillermo Barro, Myra Blaylock, Eiichi Egami, Jesús Gallego, Armando Gil De Paz, Sergio Pascual, Jaime Zamorano, Jennifer L. Donley

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Abstract

Using a sample of ∼28,000 sources selected at 3.6-4.5 μm with Spitzer observations of the Hubble Deep Field North, the Chandra Deep Field South, and the Lockman Hole (surveyed area ∼664 arcmin2), we study the evolution of the stellar mass content of the universe at 0 < z < 4. We calculate stellar masses and photometric redshifts, based on ∼2000 templates built with stellar population and dust emission models fitting the ultraviolet to mid-infrared spectral energy distributions of galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts. We estimate stellar mass functions for different redshift intervals. We find that 50% of the local stellar mass density was assembled at 0 < z < 1 (average star formation rate [SFR] 0.048 M⊙ yr-1 Mpc-3), and at least another 40% at 1 < z < 4 (average SFR 0.074 M⊙ yr-1 Mpc-3). Our results confirm and quantify the "downsizing" scenario of galaxy formation. The most massive galaxies (M > 1012.0 M⊙ ) assembled the bulk of their stellar content rapidly (in 1-2 Gyr) beyond z ∼ 3 in very intense star formation events (producing high specific SFRs). Galaxies with 10 11.5 < M < 1012.0 M⊙ assembled half of their stellar mass beforez ∼ 1.5, and more than 90% of theirmass was already in place atz ∼ 0.6. Galaxies with M < 1011.5M⊙ evolved more slowly (presenting smaller specific SFRs), assembling half of their stellar mass below z ∼ 1. About 40% of the local stellar mass density of 10 9.0 < M < 1011.0 M⊙ galaxies was assembled below z ∼ 0.4, most probably through accretion of small satellites producing little star formation. The cosmic stellar mass density atz > 2.5 is dominated by optically faint (R ≳ 25) red galaxies (distant red galaxies or BzK sources), which account for ∼30% of the global population of galaxies, but contribute at least 60% of the cosmic stellar mass density. Bluer galaxies (e.g., Lyman break galaxies) are more numerous but less massive, contributing less than 50% of the global stellar mass density at high redshift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-261
Number of pages28
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume675
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

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stellar mass
near infrared
assembly
galaxies
analysis
star formation
universe

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

The stellar mass assembly of galaxies from z = 0 to z = 4 : Analysis of a sample selected in the rest-frame near-infrared with Spitzer. / Pérez-González, Pablo G.; Rieke, George H.; Villar, Victor; Barro, Guillermo; Blaylock, Myra; Egami, Eiichi; Gallego, Jesús; De Paz, Armando Gil; Pascual, Sergio; Zamorano, Jaime; Donley, Jennifer L.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 675, No. 1, 01.03.2008, p. 234-261.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pérez-González, PG, Rieke, GH, Villar, V, Barro, G, Blaylock, M, Egami, E, Gallego, J, De Paz, AG, Pascual, S, Zamorano, J & Donley, JL 2008, 'The stellar mass assembly of galaxies from z = 0 to z = 4: Analysis of a sample selected in the rest-frame near-infrared with Spitzer', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 675, no. 1, pp. 234-261. https://doi.org/10.1086/523690
Pérez-González, Pablo G. ; Rieke, George H. ; Villar, Victor ; Barro, Guillermo ; Blaylock, Myra ; Egami, Eiichi ; Gallego, Jesús ; De Paz, Armando Gil ; Pascual, Sergio ; Zamorano, Jaime ; Donley, Jennifer L. / The stellar mass assembly of galaxies from z = 0 to z = 4 : Analysis of a sample selected in the rest-frame near-infrared with Spitzer. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2008 ; Vol. 675, No. 1. pp. 234-261.
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N2 - Using a sample of ∼28,000 sources selected at 3.6-4.5 μm with Spitzer observations of the Hubble Deep Field North, the Chandra Deep Field South, and the Lockman Hole (surveyed area ∼664 arcmin2), we study the evolution of the stellar mass content of the universe at 0 < z < 4. We calculate stellar masses and photometric redshifts, based on ∼2000 templates built with stellar population and dust emission models fitting the ultraviolet to mid-infrared spectral energy distributions of galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts. We estimate stellar mass functions for different redshift intervals. We find that 50% of the local stellar mass density was assembled at 0 < z < 1 (average star formation rate [SFR] 0.048 M⊙ yr-1 Mpc-3), and at least another 40% at 1 < z < 4 (average SFR 0.074 M⊙ yr-1 Mpc-3). Our results confirm and quantify the "downsizing" scenario of galaxy formation. The most massive galaxies (M > 1012.0 M⊙ ) assembled the bulk of their stellar content rapidly (in 1-2 Gyr) beyond z ∼ 3 in very intense star formation events (producing high specific SFRs). Galaxies with 10 11.5 < M < 1012.0 M⊙ assembled half of their stellar mass beforez ∼ 1.5, and more than 90% of theirmass was already in place atz ∼ 0.6. Galaxies with M < 1011.5M⊙ evolved more slowly (presenting smaller specific SFRs), assembling half of their stellar mass below z ∼ 1. About 40% of the local stellar mass density of 10 9.0 < M < 1011.0 M⊙ galaxies was assembled below z ∼ 0.4, most probably through accretion of small satellites producing little star formation. The cosmic stellar mass density atz > 2.5 is dominated by optically faint (R ≳ 25) red galaxies (distant red galaxies or BzK sources), which account for ∼30% of the global population of galaxies, but contribute at least 60% of the cosmic stellar mass density. Bluer galaxies (e.g., Lyman break galaxies) are more numerous but less massive, contributing less than 50% of the global stellar mass density at high redshift.

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