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Title: The assembly histories of quiescent galaxies since z = 0.7 from absorption line spectroscopy

We present results from modeling the optical spectra of a large sample of quiescent galaxies between 0.1 < z < 0.7 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES). We examine how the stellar ages and abundance patterns of galaxies evolve over time as a function of stellar mass from 10{sup 9.6}-10{sup 11.8} M {sub ☉}. Galaxy spectra are stacked in bins of mass and redshift and modeled over a wavelength range from 4000 Å to 5500 Å. Full spectrum stellar population synthesis modeling provides estimates of the age and the abundances of the elements Fe, Mg, C, N, and Ca. We find negligible evolution in elemental abundances at fixed stellar mass over roughly 7 Gyr of cosmic time. In addition, the increase in stellar ages with time for massive galaxies is consistent with passive evolution since z = 0.7. Taken together, these results favor a scenario in which the inner ∼0.3-3 R {sub e} of massive quiescent galaxies have been passively evolving over the last half of cosmic time. Interestingly, the derived stellar ages are considerably younger than the age of the universe at all epochs, consistent with an equivalent single-burst starmore » formation epoch of z ≲ 1.5. These young stellar population ages coupled with the existence of massive quiescent galaxies at z > 1 indicate the inhomogeneous nature of the z ≲ 0.7 quiescent population. The data also permit the addition of newly quenched galaxies at masses below ∼10{sup 10.5} M {sub ☉} at z < 0.7. Additionally, we analyze very deep Keck DEIMOS spectra of the two brightest quiescent galaxies in a cluster at z = 0.83. There is tentative evidence that these galaxies are older than their counterparts in low-density environments. In the Appendix, we demonstrate that our full spectrum modeling technique allows for accurate and reliable modeling of galaxy spectra to low S/N (∼20 Å{sup –1}) and/or low spectral resolution (R ∼ 500).« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12110 (United States)
  3. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)
  4. UCO/Lick Observatories, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  5. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO 64110 (United States)
  6. School of Physics, Monash University, Clayton, Vic 3800 (Australia)
  7. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365140
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 792; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; ABUNDANCE; DENSITY; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; MASS; RED SHIFT; RESOLUTION; SPECTRA; SPECTROSCOPY; STARS; SYNTHESIS; UNIVERSE; WAVELENGTHS