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The morphologies of massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS field : compact bulges, and the rise and fall of massive discs

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Abstract
We have used high-resolution, Hubble Space Telescope, near-infrared imaging to conduct a detailed analysis of the morphological properties of the most massive galaxies at high redshift, modelling the WFC3/IR H-160-band images of the similar or equal to 200 galaxies in the CANDELS-UDS field with photometric redshifts 1 < z < 3, and stellar masses M-* > 10(11)M(circle dot). We have explored the results of fitting single-Sersic and bulge+disc models, and have investigated the additional errors and potential biases introduced by uncertainties in the background and the on-image point spread function. This approach has enabled us to obtain formally acceptable model fits to the WFC3/IR images of > 90 per cent of the galaxies. Our results indicate that these massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 lie both on and below the local size-mass relation, with a median effective radius of similar to 2.6 kpc, a factor of similar or equal to 2.3 smaller than comparably massive local galaxies. Moreover, we find that bulge-dominated objects in particular show evidence for a growing bimodality in the size-mass relation with increasing redshift, and by z > 2 the compact bulges display effective radii a factor of similar or equal to 4 smaller than local ellipticals of comparable mass. These trends also appear to extend to the bulge components of disc-dominated galaxies. In addition, we find that, while such massive galaxies at low redshift are generally bulge-dominated, at redshifts 1 < z < 2 they are predominantly mixed bulge+disc systems, and by z > 2 they are mostly disc-dominated. The majority of the disc-dominated galaxies are actively forming stars, although this is also true for many of the bulge-dominated systems. Interestingly, however, while most of the quiescent galaxies are bulge-dominated, we find that a significant fraction (25-40 per cent) of the most quiescent galaxies, with specific star formation rates sSFR < 10(-10) yr(-1), have disc-dominated morphologies. Thus, while our results show that the massive galaxy population is undergoing dramatic changes at this crucial epoch, they also suggest that the physical mechanisms which quench star formation activity are not simply connected to those responsible for the morphological transformation of massive galaxies into present-day giant ellipticals.
Keywords
STAR-FORMING GALAXIES, SIMILAR-TO 2, DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, HUBBLE-SPACE-TELESCOPE, EXTRAGALACTIC LEGACY SURVEY, HIGH-REDSHIFT, GALAXIES, SIZE EVOLUTION, ELLIPTIC GALAXIES, QUIESCENT GALAXIES, PASSIVE, GALAXIES, galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, galaxies: evolution, galaxies:, high-redshift, galaxies: spiral, galaxies: structure

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Chicago
Bruce, VA, JS Dunlop, M Cirasuolo, RJ McLure, TA Targett, EF Bell, DJ Croton, et al. 2012. “The Morphologies of Massive Galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS Field : Compact Bulges, and the Rise and Fall of Massive Discs.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 427 (2): 1666–1701.
APA
Bruce, V., Dunlop, J., Cirasuolo, M., McLure, R., Targett, T., Bell, E., Croton, D., et al. (2012). The morphologies of massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS field : compact bulges, and the rise and fall of massive discs. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 427(2), 1666–1701.
Vancouver
1.
Bruce V, Dunlop J, Cirasuolo M, McLure R, Targett T, Bell E, et al. The morphologies of massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS field : compact bulges, and the rise and fall of massive discs. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. 2012;427(2):1666–701.
MLA
Bruce, VA, JS Dunlop, M Cirasuolo, et al. “The Morphologies of Massive Galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS Field : Compact Bulges, and the Rise and Fall of Massive Discs.” MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 427.2 (2012): 1666–1701. Print.
@article{8573756,
  abstract     = {We have used high-resolution, Hubble Space Telescope, near-infrared imaging to conduct a detailed analysis of the morphological properties of the most massive galaxies at high redshift, modelling the WFC3/IR H-160-band images of the similar or equal to 200 galaxies in the CANDELS-UDS field with photometric redshifts 1 < z < 3, and stellar masses M-* > 10(11)M(circle dot). We have explored the results of fitting single-Sersic and bulge+disc models, and have investigated the additional errors and potential biases introduced by uncertainties in the background and the on-image point spread function. This approach has enabled us to obtain formally acceptable model fits to the WFC3/IR images of > 90 per cent of the galaxies. Our results indicate that these massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 lie both on and below the local size-mass relation, with a median effective radius of similar to 2.6 kpc, a factor of similar or equal to 2.3 smaller than comparably massive local galaxies. Moreover, we find that bulge-dominated objects in particular show evidence for a growing bimodality in the size-mass relation with increasing redshift, and by z > 2 the compact bulges display effective radii a factor of similar or equal to 4 smaller than local ellipticals of comparable mass. These trends also appear to extend to the bulge components of disc-dominated galaxies. In addition, we find that, while such massive galaxies at low redshift are generally bulge-dominated, at redshifts 1 < z < 2 they are predominantly mixed bulge+disc systems, and by z > 2 they are mostly disc-dominated. The majority of the disc-dominated galaxies are actively forming stars, although this is also true for many of the bulge-dominated systems. Interestingly, however, while most of the quiescent galaxies are bulge-dominated, we find that a significant fraction (25-40 per cent) of the most quiescent galaxies, with specific star formation rates sSFR < 10(-10) yr(-1), have disc-dominated morphologies. Thus, while our results show that the massive galaxy population is undergoing dramatic changes at this crucial epoch, they also suggest that the physical mechanisms which quench star formation activity are not simply connected to those responsible for the morphological transformation of massive galaxies into present-day giant ellipticals.},
  author       = {Bruce, VA and Dunlop, JS and Cirasuolo, M and McLure, RJ and Targett, TA and Bell, EF and Croton, DJ and Dekel, A and Faber, SM and Ferguson, HC and Grogin, NA and Kocevski, DD and Koekemoer, AM and Koo, DC and Lai, K and Lotz, JM and McGrath, EJ and Newman, JA and van der Wel, Arjen},
  issn         = {0035-8711},
  journal      = {MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY},
  keywords     = {STAR-FORMING GALAXIES,SIMILAR-TO 2,DIGITAL SKY SURVEY,HUBBLE-SPACE-TELESCOPE,EXTRAGALACTIC LEGACY SURVEY,HIGH-REDSHIFT,GALAXIES,SIZE EVOLUTION,ELLIPTIC GALAXIES,QUIESCENT GALAXIES,PASSIVE,GALAXIES,galaxies: elliptical and lenticular,cD,galaxies: evolution,galaxies:,high-redshift,galaxies: spiral,galaxies: structure},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {1666--1701},
  title        = {The morphologies of massive galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS field : compact bulges, and the rise and fall of massive discs},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.22087.x},
  volume       = {427},
  year         = {2012},
}

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