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Title: The progenitors of local ultra-massive galaxies across cosmic time: from dusty star-bursting to quiescent stellar populations

Using the UltraVISTA catalogs, we investigate the evolution in the 11.4 Gyr since z = 3 of the progenitors of local ultra-massive galaxies (log (M {sub star}/M {sub ☉}) ≈ 11.8; UMGs), providing a complete and consistent picture of how the most massive galaxies at z = 0 have assembled. By selecting the progenitors with a semi-empirical approach using abundance matching, we infer a growth in stellar mass of 0.56{sub −0.25}{sup +0.35} dex, 0.45{sub −0.20}{sup +0.16} dex, and 0.27{sub −0.12}{sup +0.08} dex from z = 3, z = 2, and z = 1, respectively, to z = 0. At z < 1, the progenitors of UMGs constitute a homogeneous population of only quiescent galaxies with old stellar populations. At z > 1, the contribution from star-forming galaxies progressively increases, with the progenitors at 2 < z < 3 being dominated by massive (M {sub star} ≈ 2 × 10{sup 11} M {sub ☉}), dusty (A {sub V} ∼ 1-2.2 mag), star-forming (SFR ∼ 100-400 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}) galaxies with a large range in stellar ages. At z = 2.75, ∼15% of the progenitors are quiescent, with properties typical of post-starburst galaxies with little dust extinction and strong Balmermore » break, and showing a large scatter in color. Our findings indicate that at least half of the stellar content of local UMGs was assembled at z > 1, whereas the remaining was assembled via merging from z ∼ 1 to the present. Most of the quenching of the star-forming progenitors happened between z = 2.75 and z = 1.25, in good agreement with the typical formation redshift and scatter in age of z = 0 UMGs as derived from their fossil records. The progenitors of local UMGs, including the star-forming ones, never lived on the blue cloud since z = 3. We propose an alternative path for the formation of local UMGs that refines previously proposed pictures and that is fully consistent with our findings.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ; ;  [7]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 (United States)
  2. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
  3. Physics and Astronomy Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States)
  4. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  5. Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (WPI), Todai Institutes for Advanced Study, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8582 (Japan)
  6. Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark)
  7. SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370463
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 794; 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; CATALOGS; COLOR; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; LUMINOSITY; MASS; QUENCHING; RED SHIFT; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS