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ZFOURGE/CANDELS: On the Evolution of M* Galaxy Progenitors from z = 3 to 0.5

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • C. Papovich
  • I. Labbé
  • R. Quadri
  • V. Tilvi
  • P. Behroozi
  • E. F. Bell
  • K. Glazebrook
  • L. Spitler
  • C. M. S. Straatman
  • K.-V. Tran
  • A. Dekel
  • M. Dickinson
  • H. C. Ferguson
  • S. L. Finkelstein
  • E. Gawiser
  • H. Inami
  • S. M. Faber
  • G. G. Kacprzak
  • L. Kawinwanichakij
  • D. Kocevski
  • A. Koekemoer
  • D. C. Koo
  • P. Kurczynski
  • J. M. Lotz
  • R. A. Lucas
  • D. McIntosh
  • N. Mehrtens
  • B. Mobasher
  • A. Monson
  • G. Morrison
  • T. Nanayakkara
  • S. E. Persson
  • B. Salmon
  • R. Simons
  • A. Tomczak
  • P. van Dokkum
  • B. Weiner
  • S. P. Willner

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2015


Galaxies with stellar masses near M* contain the majority of stellar mass in the universe, and are therefore of special interest in the study of galaxy evolution. The Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31) have present-day stellar masses near M*, at 5 × 1010 M ⊙ (defined here to be MW-mass) and 1011 M ⊙ (defined to be M31-mass). We study the typical progenitors of these galaxies using the FOURSTAR Galaxy Evolution Survey (ZFOURGE). ZFOURGE is a deep medium-band near-IR imaging survey, which is sensitive to the progenitors of these galaxies out to z ~ 3. We use abundance-matching techniques to identify the main progenitors of these galaxies at higher redshifts. We measure the evolution in the stellar mass, rest-frame colors, morphologies, far-IR luminosities, and star formation rates, combining our deep multiwavelength imaging with near-IR Hubble Space Telescope imaging from Cosmic Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), and Spitzer and Herschel far-IR imaging from Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey-Herschel and CANDELS-Herschel. The typical MW-mass and M31-mass progenitors passed through the same evolution stages, evolving from blue, star-forming disk galaxies at the earliest stages to redder dust-obscured IR-luminous galaxies in intermediate stages and to red, more quiescent galaxies at their latest stages. The progenitors of the MW-mass galaxies reached each evolutionary stage at later times (lower redshifts) and with stellar masses that are a factor of two to three lower than the progenitors of the M31-mass galaxies. The process driving this evolution, including the suppression of star formation in present-day M* galaxies, requires an evolving stellar-mass/halo-mass ratio and/or evolving halo-mass threshold for quiescent galaxies. The effective size and SFRs imply that the baryonic cold-gas fractions drop as galaxies evolve from high redshift to z ~ 0 and are strongly anticorrelated with an increase in the Sérsic index. Therefore, the growth of galaxy bulges in M* galaxies corresponds to a rapid decline in the galaxy gas fractions and/or a decrease in the star formation efficiency. This paper contains data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

    Research areas

  • galaxies: evolution, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: structure

ID: 57685104