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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 308537.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
The space density and colors of massive galaxies at 2 < z < 3: The predominance of distant red galaxies
Authors:van Dokkum, P. G.; Quadri, R.; Marchesini, D.; Rudnick, G.; Franx, M.; Gawiser, E.; Herrera, D.; Wuyts, S.; Lira, P.; Labbé, I.; Maza, J.; Illingworth, G. D.; Förster Schreiber, N. M.; Kriek, M.; Rix, H. W.; Taylor, E. N.; Toft, S.; Webb, T.; Yi, S. K.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2006
Journal Abbrev.:The Astrophysical Journal
Start Page:L59
End Page:L62
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:Using the deep multiwavelength MUSYC, GOODS, and FIRES surveys we construct a stellar mass-limited sample of galaxies at 2<z<3. The sample comprises 294 galaxies with M>1011 Msolar distributed over four independent fields with a total area of almost 400 arcmin2. The mean number density of massive galaxies in this redshift range rho(M>1011 Msolar)=(2.2+/-0.6)×10-4 h370 Mpc-3. We present median values and 25th and 75th percentiles for the distributions of observed RAB magnitudes, observed J-Ks colors, and rest-frame ultraviolet continuum slopes, M/LV ratios, and U-V colors. The galaxies show a large range in all these properties. The ``median galaxy'' is faint in the observer's optical (RAB=25.9), red in the observed near-IR (J-Ks=2.48), has a rest-frame UV spectrum that is relatively flat in Flambda (beta=-0.4), and rest-frame optical colors resembling those of nearby spiral galaxies (U-V=0.62). We determine which galaxies would be selected as Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) or distant red galaxies (DRGs, having J-Ks>2.3) in this mass-limited sample. By number DRGs make up 69% of the sample, and LBGs 20%, with a small amount of overlap. By mass DRGs make up 77%, and LBGs 17%. Neither technique provides a representative sample of massive galaxies at 2<z<3 as they only sample the extremes of the population. As we show here, multiwavelength surveys with high-quality photometry are essential for an unbiased census of massive galaxies in the early universe. The main uncertainty in this analysis is our reliance on photometric redshifts; confirmation of the results presented here requires extensive near-infrared spectroscopy of optically faint samples.
Free Keywords:Cosmology: Observations; Galaxies: Evolution; Galaxies: Formation
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
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