skip to main content

Title: THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM AND FEEDBACK IN THE PROGENITORS OF THE COMPACT PASSIVE GALAXIES AT z ∼ 2

Quenched galaxies at z > 2 are nearly all very compact relative to z ∼ 0, suggesting a physical connection between high stellar density and efficient, rapid cessation of star-formation. We present rest-frame UV spectra of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z ∼ 3 selected to be candidate progenitors of the quenched galaxies at z ∼ 2 based on their compact rest-frame-optical sizes and high Σ{sub SFR}. We compare their UV properties to those of more extended LBGs of similar mass and star-formation rate (non-candidates). We find that candidate progenitors have faster bulk interstellar medium (ISM) gas velocities and higher equivalent widths of interstellar absorption lines, implying larger velocity spread among absorbing clouds. Candidates deviate from the relationship between equivalent widths of Lyα and interstellar absorption lines in that their Lyα emission remains strong despite high interstellar absorption, possibly indicating that the neutral H I fraction is patchy, such that Lyα photons can escape. We detect stronger C IV P-Cygni features (emission and absorption) and He II emission in candidates, indicative of larger populations of metal-rich Wolf-Rayet stars compared to non-candidates. The faster bulk motions, broader spread of gas velocity, and Lyα properties of candidates are consistent with their ISM beingmore » subject to more energetic feedback than non-candidates. Together with their larger metallicity (implying more evolved star-formation activity) this leads us to propose, if speculatively, that they are likely to quench sooner than non-candidates, supporting the validity of selection criteria used to identify them as progenitors of z ∼ 2 passive galaxies. We propose that massive, compact galaxies undergo more rapid growth of their stellar mass content, perhaps because the gas accretion mechanisms are different, and quench sooner than normally sized LBGs at these (early) epochs.« 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. INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Firenze, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, I-50125, Firenze (Italy)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)
  4. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)
  6. Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso (Chile)
  7. Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904 (Israel)
  8. UCO/Lick Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  9. Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States)
  10. INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone (Italy)
  11. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  12. Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364238
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 800; 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; ABSORPTION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DENSITY; GALAXIES; MASS; METALLICITY; PHOTON EMISSION; RED SHIFT; STAR EVOLUTION; ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRA; VELOCITY; WOLF-RAYET STARS