We search the five CANDELS fields (COSMOS, EGS, GOODS-North, GOODS-South, and UDS) for passively evolving a.k.a. `red and dead' massive galaxies in the first 2 Gyr after the big bang, integrating and updating the work on GOODS-South presented in a previous paper. We perform SED-fitting on photometric data, with top-hat star-formation histories to model an early and abrupt quenching, and using a probabilistic approach to select only robust candidates. Using libraries without (with) spectral lines emission, starting from a total of more than 20 000 z > 3 sources we end up with 102 (40) candidates, including one at z = 6.7. This implies a minimal number density of 1.73 ± 0.17 × 10-5 (6.69 ± 1.08 × 10-6) Mpc-3 for 3 < z < 5; applying a correction factor to account for incompleteness yields 2.30 ± 0.20 × 10-5. We compare these values with those from five recent hydrodynamical cosmological simulations, finding a reasonable agreement at z < 4; tensions arise at earlier epochs. Finally, we use the star-formation histories from the best-fitting models to estimate the contribution of the high-redshift passive galaxies to the global star formation rate density during their phase of activity, finding that they account for ̃5-10 per cent of the total star formation at 3 < z < 8, despite being only ̃ 0.5{{ per cent}} of the total in number. The resulting picture is that early and strong star formation activity, building massive galaxies on short time-scales and followed by a quick and abrupt quenching, is a rare but crucial phenomenon in the early Universe: the evolution of the cosmos must be heavily influenced by the short but powerful activity of these pristine monsters.

Red and dead CANDELS: massive passive galaxies at the dawn of the Universe / Merlin, E.; Fortuni, F.; Torelli, M.; Santini, P.; Castellano, M.; Fontana, A.; Grazian, A.; Pentericci, L.; Pilo, S.; Schmidt, K. B.. - In: MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. - ISSN 1365-2966. - 490:3(2019), pp. 3309-3328. [10.1093/mnras/stz2615]

Red and dead CANDELS: massive passive galaxies at the dawn of the Universe

Fortuni, F.;Torelli, M.;
2019

Abstract

We search the five CANDELS fields (COSMOS, EGS, GOODS-North, GOODS-South, and UDS) for passively evolving a.k.a. `red and dead' massive galaxies in the first 2 Gyr after the big bang, integrating and updating the work on GOODS-South presented in a previous paper. We perform SED-fitting on photometric data, with top-hat star-formation histories to model an early and abrupt quenching, and using a probabilistic approach to select only robust candidates. Using libraries without (with) spectral lines emission, starting from a total of more than 20 000 z > 3 sources we end up with 102 (40) candidates, including one at z = 6.7. This implies a minimal number density of 1.73 ± 0.17 × 10-5 (6.69 ± 1.08 × 10-6) Mpc-3 for 3 < z < 5; applying a correction factor to account for incompleteness yields 2.30 ± 0.20 × 10-5. We compare these values with those from five recent hydrodynamical cosmological simulations, finding a reasonable agreement at z < 4; tensions arise at earlier epochs. Finally, we use the star-formation histories from the best-fitting models to estimate the contribution of the high-redshift passive galaxies to the global star formation rate density during their phase of activity, finding that they account for ̃5-10 per cent of the total star formation at 3 < z < 8, despite being only ̃ 0.5{{ per cent}} of the total in number. The resulting picture is that early and strong star formation activity, building massive galaxies on short time-scales and followed by a quick and abrupt quenching, is a rare but crucial phenomenon in the early Universe: the evolution of the cosmos must be heavily influenced by the short but powerful activity of these pristine monsters.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1344615
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