Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate

Eric F. Bell, Casey Papovich, Christian Wolf, Emeric Le Floc'h, John A R Caldwell, Marco Barden, Eiichi Egami, Daniel H. McIntosh, Klaus Meisenheimer, Pablo G. Pérez-González, George H. Rieke, Marcia J Rieke, Jane R. Rigby, Hans Walter Rix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

336 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a first analysis of deep 24 μm observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope of a sample of nearly 1500 galaxies in a thin redshift slice, 0.65 ≤ z < 0.75. We combine the infrared data with redshifts, rest-frame luminosities, and colors from COMBO-17 and with morphologies from Hubble Space Telescope images collected by the Galaxy Evolution from Morphology and SEDs (GEMS) and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) projects. To characterize the decline in star formation rate (SFR) since z ∼ 0.7, we estimate the total thermal IR luminosities, SFRs, and stellar masses for the galaxies in this sample. At z ∼ 0.7, nearly 40% of intermediate- and high-mass galaxies (with stellar masses ≥2 × 1010 M⊙) are undergoing a period of intense star formation above their past-averaged SFR. In contrast, less than 1 % of equally massive galaxies in the local universe have similarly intense star formation activity. Morphologically undisturbed galaxies dominate the total infrared luminosity density and SFR density: at z ∼ 0.7, more than half of the intensely star-forming galaxies have spiral morphologies, whereas less than ∼30% are strongly interacting. Thus, a decline in major merger rate is not the underlying cause of the rapid decline in cosmic SFR since z ∼ 0.7. Physical properties that do not strongly affect galaxy morphology - for example, gas consumption and weak interactions with small satellite galaxies - appear to be responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume625
Issue number1 I
DOIs
StatePublished - May 20 2005

Fingerprint

star formation rate
galaxies
luminosity
stellar mass
star formation
merger
observatory
physical property
Space Infrared Telescope Facility
rate
spiral galaxies
Hubble Space Telescope
observatories
gas
universe
physical properties
color
stars
causes
estimates

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Bell, E. F., Papovich, C., Wolf, C., Le Floc'h, E., Caldwell, J. A. R., Barden, M., ... Rix, H. W. (2005). Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate. Astrophysical Journal, 625(1 I), 23-36. https://doi.org/10.1086/429552

Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate. / Bell, Eric F.; Papovich, Casey; Wolf, Christian; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Caldwell, John A R; Barden, Marco; Egami, Eiichi; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Meisenheimer, Klaus; Pérez-González, Pablo G.; Rieke, George H.; Rieke, Marcia J; Rigby, Jane R.; Rix, Hans Walter.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 625, No. 1 I, 20.05.2005, p. 23-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bell, EF, Papovich, C, Wolf, C, Le Floc'h, E, Caldwell, JAR, Barden, M, Egami, E, McIntosh, DH, Meisenheimer, K, Pérez-González, PG, Rieke, GH, Rieke, MJ, Rigby, JR & Rix, HW 2005, 'Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 625, no. 1 I, pp. 23-36. https://doi.org/10.1086/429552
Bell EF, Papovich C, Wolf C, Le Floc'h E, Caldwell JAR, Barden M et al. Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate. Astrophysical Journal. 2005 May 20;625(1 I):23-36. https://doi.org/10.1086/429552
Bell, Eric F. ; Papovich, Casey ; Wolf, Christian ; Le Floc'h, Emeric ; Caldwell, John A R ; Barden, Marco ; Egami, Eiichi ; McIntosh, Daniel H. ; Meisenheimer, Klaus ; Pérez-González, Pablo G. ; Rieke, George H. ; Rieke, Marcia J ; Rigby, Jane R. ; Rix, Hans Walter. / Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 625, No. 1 I. pp. 23-36.
@article{64915eae25944449a235aae698c658da,
title = "Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate",
abstract = "We present a first analysis of deep 24 μm observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope of a sample of nearly 1500 galaxies in a thin redshift slice, 0.65 ≤ z < 0.75. We combine the infrared data with redshifts, rest-frame luminosities, and colors from COMBO-17 and with morphologies from Hubble Space Telescope images collected by the Galaxy Evolution from Morphology and SEDs (GEMS) and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) projects. To characterize the decline in star formation rate (SFR) since z ∼ 0.7, we estimate the total thermal IR luminosities, SFRs, and stellar masses for the galaxies in this sample. At z ∼ 0.7, nearly 40{\%} of intermediate- and high-mass galaxies (with stellar masses ≥2 × 1010 M⊙) are undergoing a period of intense star formation above their past-averaged SFR. In contrast, less than 1 {\%} of equally massive galaxies in the local universe have similarly intense star formation activity. Morphologically undisturbed galaxies dominate the total infrared luminosity density and SFR density: at z ∼ 0.7, more than half of the intensely star-forming galaxies have spiral morphologies, whereas less than ∼30{\%} are strongly interacting. Thus, a decline in major merger rate is not the underlying cause of the rapid decline in cosmic SFR since z ∼ 0.7. Physical properties that do not strongly affect galaxy morphology - for example, gas consumption and weak interactions with small satellite galaxies - appear to be responsible.",
keywords = "Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: fundamental parameters, Galaxies: interactions, Galaxies: starburst, Galaxies: stellar content, Infrared: galaxies",
author = "Bell, {Eric F.} and Casey Papovich and Christian Wolf and {Le Floc'h}, Emeric and Caldwell, {John A R} and Marco Barden and Eiichi Egami and McIntosh, {Daniel H.} and Klaus Meisenheimer and P{\'e}rez-Gonz{\'a}lez, {Pablo G.} and Rieke, {George H.} and Rieke, {Marcia J} and Rigby, {Jane R.} and Rix, {Hans Walter}",
year = "2005",
month = "5",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1086/429552",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "625",
pages = "23--36",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "1 I",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward an understanding of the rapid decline of the cosmic star formation rate

AU - Bell, Eric F.

AU - Papovich, Casey

AU - Wolf, Christian

AU - Le Floc'h, Emeric

AU - Caldwell, John A R

AU - Barden, Marco

AU - Egami, Eiichi

AU - McIntosh, Daniel H.

AU - Meisenheimer, Klaus

AU - Pérez-González, Pablo G.

AU - Rieke, George H.

AU - Rieke, Marcia J

AU - Rigby, Jane R.

AU - Rix, Hans Walter

PY - 2005/5/20

Y1 - 2005/5/20

N2 - We present a first analysis of deep 24 μm observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope of a sample of nearly 1500 galaxies in a thin redshift slice, 0.65 ≤ z < 0.75. We combine the infrared data with redshifts, rest-frame luminosities, and colors from COMBO-17 and with morphologies from Hubble Space Telescope images collected by the Galaxy Evolution from Morphology and SEDs (GEMS) and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) projects. To characterize the decline in star formation rate (SFR) since z ∼ 0.7, we estimate the total thermal IR luminosities, SFRs, and stellar masses for the galaxies in this sample. At z ∼ 0.7, nearly 40% of intermediate- and high-mass galaxies (with stellar masses ≥2 × 1010 M⊙) are undergoing a period of intense star formation above their past-averaged SFR. In contrast, less than 1 % of equally massive galaxies in the local universe have similarly intense star formation activity. Morphologically undisturbed galaxies dominate the total infrared luminosity density and SFR density: at z ∼ 0.7, more than half of the intensely star-forming galaxies have spiral morphologies, whereas less than ∼30% are strongly interacting. Thus, a decline in major merger rate is not the underlying cause of the rapid decline in cosmic SFR since z ∼ 0.7. Physical properties that do not strongly affect galaxy morphology - for example, gas consumption and weak interactions with small satellite galaxies - appear to be responsible.

AB - We present a first analysis of deep 24 μm observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope of a sample of nearly 1500 galaxies in a thin redshift slice, 0.65 ≤ z < 0.75. We combine the infrared data with redshifts, rest-frame luminosities, and colors from COMBO-17 and with morphologies from Hubble Space Telescope images collected by the Galaxy Evolution from Morphology and SEDs (GEMS) and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) projects. To characterize the decline in star formation rate (SFR) since z ∼ 0.7, we estimate the total thermal IR luminosities, SFRs, and stellar masses for the galaxies in this sample. At z ∼ 0.7, nearly 40% of intermediate- and high-mass galaxies (with stellar masses ≥2 × 1010 M⊙) are undergoing a period of intense star formation above their past-averaged SFR. In contrast, less than 1 % of equally massive galaxies in the local universe have similarly intense star formation activity. Morphologically undisturbed galaxies dominate the total infrared luminosity density and SFR density: at z ∼ 0.7, more than half of the intensely star-forming galaxies have spiral morphologies, whereas less than ∼30% are strongly interacting. Thus, a decline in major merger rate is not the underlying cause of the rapid decline in cosmic SFR since z ∼ 0.7. Physical properties that do not strongly affect galaxy morphology - for example, gas consumption and weak interactions with small satellite galaxies - appear to be responsible.

KW - Galaxies: evolution

KW - Galaxies: fundamental parameters

KW - Galaxies: interactions

KW - Galaxies: starburst

KW - Galaxies: stellar content

KW - Infrared: galaxies

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=22144442425&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=22144442425&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/429552

DO - 10.1086/429552

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:22144442425

VL - 625

SP - 23

EP - 36

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 1 I

ER -