Chasing passive galaxies in the early Universe: a critical analysis in CANDELS GOODS-South

E. Merlin, A. Fontana, M. Castellano, P. Santini, M. Torelli, K. Boutsia, T. Wang, A. Grazian, L. Pentericci, C. Schreiber, L. Ciesla, R. McLure, S. Derriere, J. S. Dunlop, D. Elbaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We search for passive galaxies at z > 3 in the GOODS-South field, using different techniques based on photometric data, and paying attention to develop methods that are sensitive to objects that have become passive shortly before the epoch of observation. We use CANDELS HST catalogues, ultra-deep Ks data and new IRAC photometry, performing spectral energy distribution fitting using models with abruptly quenched star formation histories. We then single out galaxies which are best fitted by a passively evolving model, and having only low probability ( 3 is still subject to significant uncertainties, being sensitive to assumptions in the SED modelling adopted and to the relatively low S/N of the objects. By means of dedicated simulations, we show that JWST will greatly enhance the accuracy, allowing for a much more robust classification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2098-2123
Number of pages28
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • methods: data analysis
  • catalogues
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: photometry
  • galaxies: statistics


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