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Title: The progenitors of the compact early-type galaxies at high redshift

We use GOODS and CANDELS images to identify progenitors of massive (M > 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉}) compact early-type galaxies (ETGs) at z ∼ 1.6. Because merging and accretion increase the size of the stellar component of galaxies, if the progenitors are among known star-forming galaxies, these must be compact themselves. We select candidate progenitors among compact Lyman-break galaxies at z ∼ 3 on the basis of their mass, star-formation rate (SFR), and central stellar density, and we find that these account for a large fraction of, and possibly all, compact ETGs at z ∼ 1.6. We find that the average far-UV spectral energy distribution (SED) of the candidates is redder than that of the non-candidates, but the optical and mid-IR SED are the same, implying that the redder UV of the candidates is inconsistent with larger dust obscuration and consistent with more evolved (aging) star formation. This is in line with other evidence suggesting that compactness is a sensitive predictor of passivity among high-redshift massive galaxies. We also find that the light distribution of both the compact ETGs and their candidate progenitors does not show any extended 'halos' surrounding the compact 'core,' both in individual images and inmore » stacks. We argue that this is generally inconsistent with the morphology of merger remnants, even if gas rich, as predicted by N-body simulations. This suggests that the compact ETGs formed via highly dissipative, mostly gaseous accretion of units whose stellar components are very small and undetected in the Hubble Space Telescope images, with their stellar mass assembling in situ, and that they have not experienced any major merging until the epoch of observations at z ∼ 1.6.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ; ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ; ; ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] more »; « less
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, 710 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)
  2. Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388 Marseille (France)
  3. The School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD (United Kingdom)
  4. Joint ALMA Observatory, ESO, Santiago (Chile)
  5. UCO/Lick Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  6. Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), Postfach 1312, D-85741 Garching (Germany)
  7. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  8. Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904 (Israel)
  9. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  10. Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States)
  11. Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  12. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348379
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 780; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DENSITY; DISTRIBUTION; DUSTS; ENERGY SPECTRA; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; INTERMEDIATE INFRARED RADIATION; MANY-BODY PROBLEM; MASS; RED SHIFT; SPACE; STARS; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION