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Mass assembly in quiescent and star-forming galaxies since z ≃ 4 from UltraVISTA

Abstract : We estimate the galaxy stellar mass function and stellar mass density for star-forming and quiescent galaxies with 0.2 < z < 4. We construct a large, deep (Ks < 24) sample of 220 000 galaxies selected using the new UltraVISTA DR1 data release. Our analysis is based on precise 30-band photometricredshifts. By comparing these photometric redshifts with 10,800 spectroscopic redshifts from the zCOSMOS bright and faint surveys, we find a precision of σΔz/(1 + z) = 0.008 at i+ < 22.5 and σΔz/(1 + z) = 0.03 at 1.5 < z < 4. We derive the stellar mass function and correct for the Eddington bias. We find a mass-dependent evolution of the global and star-forming populations, with the low-mass end of the mass functions evolving more rapidly than the high-mass end. This mass-dependent evolution is a direct consequence of the star formation being “quenched” in galaxies more massive than ℳ ≳ 1010.7 − 10.9ℳ⊙. For the mass function of the quiescent galaxies, we do not find any significant evolution of the high-mass end at z < 1; however we observe a clear flattening of the faint-end slope. From z ~ 3 to z ~ 1, the density of quiescent galaxies increases over the entire mass range. Their comoving stellar mass density increases by 1.6 dex between z ~ 3 and z ~ 1 and by less than 0.2 dex at z < 1. We infer the star formation history from the mass density evolution. This inferred star formation history is in excellent agreement with instantaneous star formation rate measurements at z < 1.5, while we find differences of 0.2 dex at z > 1.5 consistent with the expected uncertainties. We also develop a new method to infer the specific star formation rate from the mass function of star-forming galaxies. We find that the specific star formation rate of 1010 − 10.5ℳ⊙ galaxies increases continuously in the redshift range 1 < z < 4. Finally, we compare our results with a semi-analytical model and find that these models overestimate the density of low mass quiescent galaxies by an order of magnitude, while the density of low-mass star-forming galaxies is successfully reproduced.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 12:25:59 PM
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O. Ilbert, H. J. Mccracken, O. Le Fèvre, P. Capak, J. Dunlop, et al.. Mass assembly in quiescent and star-forming galaxies since z ≃ 4 from UltraVISTA. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2013, 556, pp.A55. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201321100⟩. ⟨cea-01135411⟩



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