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Measuring star formation in high-z massive galaxies: a mid-infrared to submillimetre study of the GOODS NICMOS Survey sample

Authors

  • M. P. Viero,

    Corresponding author
    1. California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
    2. Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
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  • L. Moncelsi,

    1. California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
    2. Department of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA
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  • E. Mentuch,

    1. Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
    2. Department of Physics & Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1, Canada
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  • F. Buitrago,

    1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG1 3AL
    2. SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ
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  • A. E. Bauer,

    1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG1 3AL
    2. Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
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  • E. L. Chapin,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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  • C. J. Conselice,

    1. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG1 3AL
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  • M. J. Devlin,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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  • M. Halpern,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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  • G. Marsden,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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  • C. B. Netterfield,

    1. Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
    2. Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1A7, Canada
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  • E. Pascale,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA
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  • P. G. Pérez-González,

    1. Departamento de Astrofísica, Facultad de CC. Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
    2. Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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  • M. Rex,

    1. Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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  • D. Scott,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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  • M. W. L. Smith,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University, 5 The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA
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  • M. D. P. Truch,

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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  • I. Trujillo,

    1. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
    2. Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
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  • D. V. Wiebe

    1. Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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E-mail: marco.viero@caltech.edu

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance.

ABSTRACT

We present measurements of the mean mid-infrared to submillimetre flux densities of massive (M≳ 1011 M) galaxies at redshifts 1.7 < z < 2.9, obtained by stacking positions of known objects taken from the GOODS NICMOS Survey (GNS) catalogue on maps at 24 inline imagem (Spitzer/MIPS); 70, 100 and 160 inline imagem (Herschel/PACS); 250, 350 and 500 inline imagem (BLAST); and 870 inline imagem (LABOCA). A modified blackbody spectrum fit to the stacked flux densities indicates a median [interquartile] star formation rate (SFR) of SFR = 63[48, 81] M yr−1. We note that not properly accounting for correlations between bands when fitting stacked data can significantly bias the result. The galaxies are divided into two groups, disc-like and spheroid-like, according to their Sérsic indices, n. We find evidence that most of the star formation is occurring in n≤ 2 (disc-like) galaxies, with median [interquartile] SFR = 122[100, 150] M yr−1, while there are indications that the n > 2 (spheroid-like) population may be forming stars at a median [interquartile] SFR = 14[9, 20] M yr−1, if at all. Finally, we show that star formation is a plausible mechanism for size evolution in this population as a whole, but find only marginal evidence that it is what drives the expansion of the spheroid-like galaxies.

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