Star Formation Rate (star + formation_rate)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Star formation in close pairs selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2004
B. Nikolic
ABSTRACT The effect of galaxy interactions on star formation has been investigated using Data Release One of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Both the imaging and spectroscopy data products have been used to construct a catalogue of nearest companions to a volume-limited (0.03 < z < 0.1) sample of galaxies drawn from the main galaxy sample of SDSS. Of the 13 973 galaxies in the volume-limited sample, we have identified 12 492 systems with companions at projected separations less than 300 kpc. Star formation rates for the volume-limited sample have been calculated from extinction and aperture corrected H, luminosities and, where available, IRAS data. Specific star formation rates were calculated by estimating galaxy masses from z -band luminosities, and r -band concentration indices were used as an indicator of morphological class. The mean specific star formation rate is significantly enhanced for projected separations less than 30 kpc. For late-type galaxies, the correlation extends out to projected separations of 300 kpc and is most pronounced in actively star-forming systems. The specific star formation rate is observed to decrease with increasing recessional velocity difference, but the magnitude of this effect is small compared to that associated with the projected separation. We also observe a tight relationship between the concentration index and pair separation; the mean concentration index is largest for pairs with separations of approximately 75 kpc and declines rapidly for separations smaller than this. This is interpreted as being due to the presence of tidally triggered nuclear starbursts in close pairs. Further, we find no dependence of star formation enhancement on the morphological type or mass of the companion galaxy. [source]


Enhanced star formation in narrow-line Seyfert 1 active galactic nuclei revealed by Spitzer

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2010
E. Sani
ABSTRACT We present new low-resolution Spitzer mid-infrared spectroscopy of a sample of 20 ROSAT -selected local narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies (NLS1s). We detect strong active galactic nucleus (AGN) continuum in all and clear polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission in 70 per cent of the sources. The 6.2 ,m PAH luminosity spans three orders of magnitude, from ,1039 to ,1042 erg s,1, providing strong evidence for intense ongoing star formation in the circumnuclear regions of these sources. Using the Infrared Spectrograph/Spitzer archive, we gathered a large number of additional NLS1s and their broad-line counterparts (BLS1s) and constructed NLS1 and BLS1 subsamples to compare them in various ways. The comparison shows a clear separation according to full width at half-maximum (H,) [FWHM(H,)] such that objects with narrower broad H, lines are the strongest PAH emitters. We test this division in various ways trying to remove biases due to luminosity and aperture size. Specifically, we find that star formation activity around NLS1 AGN is larger than around BLS1 of the same AGN luminosity. The above result seems to hold over the entire range of distance and luminosity. Moreover, the star formation rate is higher in low black hole mass and high L/LEdd systems indicating that black hole growth and star formation are occurring simultaneously. [source]


Red star-forming and blue passive galaxies in clusters

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2009
Smriti Mahajan
ABSTRACT We explore the relation between colour (measured from photometry) and specific star formation rate (derived from optical spectra obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4) of over 6000 galaxies (Mr,,20.5) in and around (<3 r200) low-redshift (z < 0.12) Abell clusters. Even though, as expected, most red sequence galaxies have little or no ongoing star formation, and most blue galaxies are currently forming stars, there are significant populations of red star-forming and blue passive galaxies. This paper examines various properties of galaxies belonging to the latter two categories, to understand why they deviate from the norm. These properties include morphological parameters, internal extinction, spectral features such as EW(H,) and the 4000 break, and metallicity. Our analysis shows that the blue passive galaxies have properties very similar to their star-forming counterparts, except that their large range in H, equivalent width indicates recent truncation of star formation. The red star-forming galaxies fall into two broad categories, one of them being massive galaxies in cluster cores dominated by an old stellar population, but with evidence of current star formation in the core (possibly linked with active galactic nuclei). For the remaining red star-forming galaxies, it is evident from spectral indices, stellar and gas-phase metallicities and mean stellar ages that their colours result from the predominance of a metal-rich stellar population. Only half of the red star-forming galaxies have extinction values consistent with a significant presence of dust. The implication of the properties of these star-forming galaxies on environmental studies, like that of the Butcher,Oemler effect, is discussed. [source]


Probing feedback in protogalaxies: multiphase gas in a DLA at z, 2.4

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
N. Lehner
ABSTRACT We investigate the physical processes occurring in the multiphase gas of a damped Ly, absorber (DLA). We base our analysis on a high-quality Keck High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) spectrum of the QSO J1211+0422 in which a DLA is detected at z, 2.377. There is little contamination of the high-ion (O vi, N v, C iv, Si iv) absorption, allowing us to explore the properties of the highly ionized gas and its connection to other gas phases. The metallicity ([Z/H]=,1.41 0.08), H i column density [], full-width velocity (,vneut, 70 km s,1) and relative abundances ([Si/Fe]=+0.23 0.05 and [N/Si]=,0.88 0.07) of this DLA are not unusual. However, we derive the lowest C ii* cooling rate in a DLA, lc < 10,27.8 erg s,1 per H atom (3,). Using this stringent limit, we show that the neutral gas (confined at |v| < +39 km s,1) must be warm and the star formation rate is <7.1 10,3 M, yr,1 kpc,2. Surprisingly, the gas shows strong, complex absorption profiles from highly ionized gas whose kinematics appear connected to each other and the low ions. The total amount of highly and weakly ionized gas is very large with ,1.5. At |v| ,+39 km s,1, the gas is fully and highly ionized []. Based on ionization models, O vi and N v are generally difficult to produce by hard photons, while Si iv and C iv can be photoionized to a large extent. There is, however, no evidence of O vi -bearing gas at T, 106 K associated with this DLA. In contrast, there is some evidence for narrow O vi, N v and C iv components (unexplained by photoionization), implying too low temperatures (T < 105 K) for simple collisional ionization models to produce their observed column densities. Stellar feedback is a possible source for producing the high ions, but we cannot rule out accretion of non-pristine material on to the protogalaxy. [source]


Is AGN feedback necessary to form red elliptical galaxies?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
A. Khalatyan
ABSTRACT We have used the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code gadget-2 to simulate the formation of an elliptical galaxy in a group-size cosmological dark matter halo with mass Mhalo, 3 1012 h,1 M, at z= 0. The use of a stellar population synthesis model has allowed us to compute magnitudes, colours and surface brightness profiles. We have included a model to follow the growth of a central black hole and we have compared the results of simulations with and without feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). We have studied the interplay between cold gas accretion and merging in the development of galactic morphologies, the link between colour and morphology evolution, the effect of AGN feedback on the photometry of early-type galaxies, the redshift evolution in the properties of quasar hosts, and the impact of AGN winds on the chemical enrichment of the intergalactic medium (IGM). We have found that the early phases of galaxy formation are driven by the accretion of cold filamentary flows, which form a disc galaxy at the centre of the dark matter halo. Disc star formation rates in this mode of galaxy growth are about as high as the peak star formation rates attained at a later epoch in galaxy mergers. When the dark matter halo is sufficiently massive to support the propagation of a stable shock, the gas in the filaments is heated to the virial temperature, cold accretion is shut down, and the star formation rate begins to decline. Mergers transform the spiral galaxy into an elliptical one, but they also reactivate star formation by bringing gas into the galaxy. Without a mechanism that removes gas from the merger remnants, the galaxy ends up with blue colours, which are atypical for its elliptical morphology. We have demonstrated that AGN feedback can solve this problem even with a fairly low heating efficiency. Our simulations support a picture where AGN feedback is important for quenching star formation in the remnant of wet mergers and for moving them to the red sequence. This picture is consistent with recent observational results, which suggest that AGN hosts are galaxies in migration from the blue cloud to the red sequence on the colour,magnitude diagram. However, we have also seen a transition in the properties of AGN hosts from blue and star forming at z, 2 to mainly red and dead at z, 0. Ongoing merging is the primary but not the only triggering mechanism for luminous AGN activity. Quenching by AGN is only effective after the cold filaments have dried out, since otherwise the galaxy is constantly replenished with gas. AGN feedback also contributes to raising the entropy of the hot IGM by removing low-entropy tails vulnerable to developing cooling flows. We have also demonstrated that AGN winds are potentially important for the metal enrichment of the IGM a high redshift. [source]


The evolution of submillimetre galaxies: two populations and a redshift cut-off

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
J. V. Wall
ABSTRACT We explore the epoch dependence of number density and star formation rate for submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) found at 850 ,m. The study uses a sample of 38 SMG in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS)-N field, for which cross-waveband identifications have been obtained for 35/38 members together with redshift measurements or estimates. A maximum-likelihood analysis is employed, along with the ,single-source-survey' technique. We find a diminution in both space-density and star formation rate at z > 3, closely mimicking the redshift cut-offs found for quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) selected in different wavebands. The diminution in redshift is particularly marked at a significance level too small to measure. The data further suggest, at a significance level of about 0.001, that two separately evolving populations may be present, with distinct luminosity functions. These results parallel the different evolutionary behaviours of Luminous Infrared Galaxies and Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies, and represent another manifestation of ,cosmic down-sizing', suggesting that differential evolution extends to the most extreme star-forming galaxies. [source]


Life in the last lane: star formation and chemical evolution in an extremely gas rich dwarf

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Ayesha Begum
ABSTRACT We present an analysis of H i, H, and oxygen abundance data for NGC 3741. This galaxy has a very extended gas disc (,8.8 times the Holmberg radius), and a dark-to-luminous (i.e. stellar) mass ratio of ,149, which makes it one of the ,darkest' dwarf irregular galaxies known. However, its ratio of baryon (i.e. gas + stellar) mass to dark mass is typical of that in galaxies. Our new high-resolution H i images of the galaxy show evidence for a large-scale (purely gaseous) spiral arm and central bar. From our H i data, a rotation curve can be derived out to ,37,44 disc scalelengths in the J and B bands, respectively. This is just slightly short of the radius at which one would expect a Navarro,Frenk,White type rotation curve to start falling. The galaxy has an integrated star formation rate (SFR) of ,0.0034 M, yr,1, while the average SFR within the optical disc is ,0.0049 M, yr,1 kpc,2. Despite the gaseous spiral feature and the ongoing star formation, we find that the global gas density in NGC 3741 is significantly lower than the Toomre instability criterion. This is consistent with the behaviour seen in other dwarf galaxies. We also find that the SFR is consistent with that expected from the observed correlations between H i mass and SFR and the global Kennicutt,Schmidt law, respectively. We measure the oxygen abundance to be 12 + log(O/H) = 7.66 0.10, which is consistent with that expected from the metallicity,luminosity relation, despite its extreme gas mass ratio. We also examine the issue of chemical evolution of NGC 3741 in the context of the closed-box model of chemical evolution. The effective oxygen yield of NGC 3741 is consistent with recent model estimates of closed-box yields, provided one assumes that the gas has been efficiently mixed all the way to the edge of the H i disc (i.e. greater than eight times the optical radius). This seems a priori unlikely. On the other hand, using a sample of galaxies with both interferometric H i maps and chemical abundance measurements, we find that the effective yield is anticorrelated with the total dynamical mass, as expected in leaky box models. [source]


The UV properties of E+A galaxies: constraints on feedback-driven quenching of star formation

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
S. Kaviraj
ABSTRACT We present the first large-scale study of E+A galaxies that incorporates photometry in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. E+A galaxies are ,post-starburst' systems, with strong Balmer absorption lines indicating significant recent star formation, but without [O ii] and H, emission lines which are characteristic of ongoing star formation. The starburst that creates the E+A galaxy typically takes place within the last Gyr and creates a high fraction (20,60 per cent) of the stellar mass in the remnant over a short time-scale (<0.1 Gyr). We find a tight correlation between the luminosity of our E+A galaxies and the implied star formation rate (SFR) during the starburst. While low-luminosity E+As [M(z) > ,20] exhibit implied SFRs of less than 50 M, yr,1, their luminous counterparts [M(z) < ,22] show SFRs greater than 300 and as high as 2000 M, yr,1, suggesting that luminous and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies in the low-redshift Universe could be the progenitors of massive nearby E+A galaxies. We perform a comprehensive study of the characteristics of the quenching that truncates the starburst in E+A systems. We find that, for galaxies less massive than 1010 M,, the quenching efficiency decreases as the galaxy mass increases. However, for galaxies more massive than 1010 M,, this trend is reversed and the quenching efficiency increases with galaxy mass. Noting that the mass threshold at which this reversal occurs is in excellent agreement with the mass above which active galactic nuclei (AGN) become significantly more abundant in nearby galaxies, we use simple energetic arguments to show that the bimodal behaviour of the quenching efficiency is consistent with AGN and supernovae (SN) being the principal sources of negative feedback above and below M, 1010 M,, respectively. The arguments assume that quenching occurs through the mechanical ejection or dispersal of the gas reservoir and that, in the high-mass regime (M > 1010 M,), the Eddington ratios in this sample of galaxies scale as M,, where 1 < , < 3. Finally, we use our E+A sample to estimate the time it takes for galaxies to migrate from the blue cloud to the red sequence. We find migration times between 1 and 5 Gyr, with a median value of 1.5 Gyr. [source]


The star formation law in a multifractal ISM

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
Konstantinos Tassis
ABSTRACT The surface density of the star formation rate in different galaxies, as well as in different parts of a single galaxy, scales non-linearly with the surface density of the total gas. This observationally established relation is known as the Kennicutt,Schmidt star formation law. The slope of the star formation law has been shown to change with the density of the gas against which the star formation rate is plotted. This dependence implies a non-linear scaling between the dense gas and the total gas surface densities within galaxies. Here, we explore a possible interpretation of this scaling as a property of the geometry of the interstellar medium (ISM), and we find that it arises naturally if the topology of the ISM is multifractal. Under the additional assumption that, at very high densities, the star formation time-scale is roughly constant, the star formation law itself can also be recovered as a consequence of the multifractal geometry of the ISM. The slope of the scaling depends on the width of the global probability density function (PDF), and is between 1.5 and 1.6 for wide PDFs relevant to high-mass systems, while it is higher for narrower PDFs appropriate for lower mass dwarf galaxies, in agreement with observations. [source]


The first appearance of the red sequence of galaxies in proto-clusters at 2 ,z, 3

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2007
Tadayuki Kodama
ABSTRACT We explore the evolved galaxy population in the proto-clusters around four high- z radio galaxies at 2 ,z, 3 based on wide-field near-infrared (NIR) imaging. Three of the four fields are known proto-clusters as demonstrated by overdensities of line-emitting galaxies at the same redshifts as the radio galaxies found by narrow-band surveys and spectroscopic follow-up observations. We imaged the fields of three targets (PKS 1138,262, USS 0943,242 and MRC 0316,257) to a depth of Ks, 22 (Vega magnitude, 5,) over a 4 7 arcmin2 area centred on the radio galaxies with a new wide-field NIR camera, Multi-Object Infra-Red Camera and Spectrograph (MOIRCS), on the Subaru Telescope. Another target (USS 1558,003) was observed with Son of ISAAC on the New technology Telescope (NTT) to a depth of Ks= 20.5 (5,) over a 5 5 arcmin2 area. We apply colour cuts in J,Ks and/or JHKs in order to exclusively search for galaxies located at high redshifts: z > 2. To the 5, limiting magnitudes, we see a significant excess of NIR-selected galaxies by a factor of 2 to 3 compared to those found in the field of GOODS-South. The spatial distribution of these NIR-selected galaxies is not uniform and traces structures similar to those of emission-line galaxies, although the samples of NIR-selected galaxies and emitters show little overlap, from which we conclude that the former tend to be an evolved population with much higher stellar mass than the latter, young and active emitters. We focus on the NIR colour,magnitude sequence of the evolved population and find that the bright-end (Mstars > 1011 M,) of the red sequence is well populated by z, 2 but much less so in the z, 3 proto-clusters. This may imply that the bright-end of the colour,magnitude sequence first appeared between z= 3 and 2, an era coinciding with the appearance of sub-mm galaxies and the peak of the cosmic star formation rate. Our observations show that during the same epoch, massive galaxies are forming in high-density environments by vigorous star formation and assembly. [source]


The stellar mass density at z, 6 from Spitzer imaging of i,-drop galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2007
Laurence P. Eyles
ABSTRACT We measure the ages, stellar masses, and star formation histories of z, 6 galaxies, observed within 1 Gyr of the big bang. We use imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Spitzer Space Telescope from the public ,Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey' (GOODS), coupled with ground-based near-infrared imaging, to measure their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from 0.8,5 ,m, spanning the rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) and optical. From our sample of ,50 ,i,-drop' Lyman-break star-forming galaxies in GOODS-South with z,AB < 27, we focus on ,30 with reliable photometric or spectroscopic redshifts. Half of these are confused with foreground sources at Spitzer resolution, but from the 16 with clean photometry we find that a surprisingly large fraction (40 per cent) have evidence for substantial Balmer/4000- spectral breaks. This indicates the presence of old underlying stellar populations that dominate the stellar masses. For these objects, we find ages of ,200,700 Myr, implying formation redshifts of 7 ,zf, 18, and large stellar masses in the range ,1,3 1010 M,. Analysis of seven i,-drops that are undetected at 3.6 ,m indicates that these are younger, considerably less massive systems. We calculate that emission line contamination should not severely affect our photometry or derived results. Using SED fits out to 8 ,m, we find little evidence for substantial intrinsic dust reddening in our sources. We use our individual galaxy results to obtain an estimate of the global stellar mass density at z, 6. Correcting for incompleteness in our sample, we find the z, 6 comoving stellar mass density to be 2.5 106 M, Mpc,3. This is a lower limit, as post-starburst and dust-obscured objects, and also galaxies below our selection thresholds, are not accounted for. From our results, we are able to explore the star formation histories of our selected galaxies, and we suggest that the past global star formation rate may have been much higher than that observed at the z, 6 epoch. The associated UV flux we infer at z > 7 could have played a major role in reionizing the Universe. [source]


The stellar content of the isolated transition dwarf galaxy DDO210,

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2006
Alan W. McConnachie
ABSTRACT We use Subaru Suprime-Cam and VLT FORS1 photometry of the dwarf galaxy DDO210 to study the global stellar content and structural properties of a transition-type galaxy (with properties intermediate between dwarf irregular and dwarf spheroidal systems). This galaxy is sufficiently isolated that tidal interactions are not likely to have affected its evolution in any way. The colour,magnitude diagrams of DDO210 show a red giant branch (RGB) population (with an RGB bump), a bright asymptotic giant branch population, a red clump, young main-sequence stars and blue-loop stars. The youngest stars formed within the last 60 Myr and have a distinct radial distribution compared to the main population. Whereas the overall stellar spatial distribution and H i spatial distribution are concentric, the young stars are offset from the centre of DDO210 and are coincident with a ,dent' in the H i distribution. The implied recent star formation rate required to form the young population is significantly higher than the derived current star formation rate, by a factor of >10. Most of the stars in DDO210 are found in a red clump, and its mean I -band magnitude suggests that the majority of stars in DDO210 have an average age of 4+2,1 Gyr. Given this age, the colour of the RGB implies a mean metallicity of [Fe/H],,1.3. By comparing the shape of the red clump with models for a variety of star formation histories, we estimate that an old (>10 Gyr) stellar population can contribute ,20,30 per cent of the stars in DDO210 at most. The unusual star formation history of DDO210, its low-mass estimate and its isolated nature, provide insight into how star formation proceeds in the lowest mass, unperturbed, dwarf galaxy haloes. [source]


The properties of galaxies in voids

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Santiago G. Patiri
ABSTRACT We present a comparison of the properties of galaxies in the most underdense regions of the Universe, where the galaxy number density is less than 10 per cent of the mean density, with galaxies from more typical regions. We have compiled a sample of galaxies in 46 large nearby voids that were identified using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR4, which provides the largest coverage of the sky. We study the u,r colour distribution, morphology, specific star formation rate (SFR) and radial number density profiles for a total of 495 galaxies fainter than Mr=,20.4 + 5 log h located inside the voids and compare these properties with a control sample of field galaxies. We show that there is an excess of blue galaxies inside the voids. However, inspecting the properties of blue and red galaxies separately, we find that galaxy properties such as colour distribution, bulge-to-total ratios and concentrations are remarkably similar between the void and overall sample. The void galaxies also show the same specific SFR at fixed colour as the control galaxies. We compare our results with the predictions of cosmological simulations of galaxy formation using the Millennium Run semi-analytic galaxy catalogue. We show that the properties of the simulated galaxies in large voids are in reasonably good agreement with those found in similar environments in the real Universe. To summarize, in spite of the fact that galaxies in voids live in the least dense large-scale environment, this environment makes very little impact on the properties of galaxies. [source]


The 1,1000 ,m spectral energy distributions of far-infrared galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2006
A. Sajina
ABSTRACT Galaxies selected at 170 ,m by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Far-IR BACKground (FIRBACK) survey represent the brightest ,10 per cent of the cosmic infrared background. Examining their nature in detail is therefore crucial for constraining models of galaxy evolution. Here, we combine Spitzer archival data with previous near-infrared (near-IR), far-IR, and submillimetre (submm) observations of a representative sample of 22 FIRBACK galaxies spanning three orders of magnitude in IR luminosity. We fit a flexible, multicomponent, empirical SED model of star-forming galaxies designed to model the entire ,1,1000 ,m wavelength range. The fits are performed with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach, allowing for meaningful uncertainties to be derived. This approach also highlights degeneracies such as between Td and ,, which we discuss in detail. From these fits and standard relations we derive: LIR, LPAH, star formation rate (SFR), ,V, M*, Mdust, Td, and ,. We look at a variety of correlations between these and combinations thereof in order to examine the physical nature of these galaxies. Our conclusions are supplemented by morphological examination of the sources, and comparison with local samples. We find the bulk of our sample to be consistent with fairly standard size and mass disc galaxies with somewhat enhanced star formation relative to local spirals, but likely not bona fide starbursts. A few higher- z luminous infrared galaxies (LIGs) and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIGs) are also present, but contrary to expectation, they are weak mid-IR emitters and overall are consistent with star formation over an extended cold region rather than concentrated in the nuclear regions. We discuss the implications of this study for understanding populations detected at other wavelengths, such as the bright 850-,m Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) sources or the faint Spitzer 24-,m sources. [source]


Cosmic evolution of metal densities: the enrichment of the intergalactic medium

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2006
F. Calura
ABSTRACT By means of chemo-photometric models for galaxies of different morphological types, we have carried out a detailed study of the history of element production by spheroidal and dwarf irregular galaxies. Spheroidal galaxies suffer a strong and intense star formation episode at early times. In dwarf irregulars, the star formation rate (SFR) proceeds at a low regime but continuously. Both galactic types enrich the intergalactic medium (IGM) with metals by means of galactic winds. We have assumed that the galaxy number density is fixed and normalized to the value of the optical luminosity function observed in the local Universe. Our models allow us to investigate in detail how the metal fractions locked up in stars in spheroids and dwarf irregulars, those present in the interstellar medium (ISM) and those ejected into the IGM have changed with cosmic time. By relaxing the instantaneous recycling approximation and taking into account stellar lifetimes, for the first time we have studied the evolution of the chemical abundance ratios in the IGM and compared our predictions with a set of observations by various authors. Our results indicate that the bulk of the IGM enrichment is due to spheroids, with dwarf irregular galaxies playing a negligible role. Our predictions grossly account for the [O/H] observed in the IGM at high redshift, but overestimate the [C/H]. Furthermore, it appears hard to reproduce the abundance ratios observed in the high-redshift IGM. Some possible explanations are discussed in the text. This is the first attempt to study the abundance ratios in the IGM by means of detailed chemical evolution models which take into account the stellar lifetimes. Numerical simulations adopting our chemical evolution prescriptions could be useful to improve our understanding of the IGM chemical enrichment. [source]


Fate of clumps in damped Ly, systems

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2006
Ilian T. Iliev
ABSTRACT Recent observations have revealed that damped Ly, clouds (DLAs) host star formation activity. In order to examine if such star formation activity can be triggered by ionization fronts, we perform high-resolution hydrodynamics and radiative transfer simulations of the effect of radiative feedback from propagating ionization fronts on high-density clumps. We examine two sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation field to which high-redshift (z, 3) galaxies could be exposed: one corresponding to the UV radiation originating from stars within the DLA, itself, and the other corresponding to the UV background radiation. We find that, for larger clouds, the propagating I-fronts created by local stellar sources can trigger cooling instability and collapse of significant part, up to 85 per cent, of the cloud, creating conditions for star formation in a time-scale of a few Myr. The passage of the I-front also triggers collapse of smaller clumps (with radii below ,4 pc), but in these cases the resulting cold and dense gas does not reach conditions conducive to star formation. Assuming that 85 per cent of the gas initially in the clump is converted into stars, we obtain a star formation rate of ,0.25 M, yr,1 kpc,2. This is somewhat higher than the value derived from recent observations. On the other hand, the background UV radiation which has harder spectrum fails to trigger cooling and collapse. Instead, the hard photons which have long mean free-path heat the dense clumps, which as a result expand and essentially dissolve in the ambient medium. Therefore, the star formation activity in DLAs is strongly regulated by the radiative feedback, both from the external UV background and internal stellar sources and we predict quiescent evolution of DLAs (not starburst-like evolution). [source]


Dust emission in the far-infrared as a star formation tracer at z= 0: systematic trends with luminosity

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2003
D. Pierini
ABSTRACT We investigate whether dust emission in the far-infrared (far-IR) continuum provides a robust estimate of the star formation rate (SFR) for a nearby, normal late-type galaxy. We focus on the ratio of the 40,1000 ,m luminosity (Ldust) to the far-ultraviolet (far-UV) (0.165 ,m) luminosity, which is connected to recent episodes of star formation. Available total photometry at 0.165, 60, 100 and 170 ,m limits the statistics to 30 galaxies, which, however, span a large range in observed (and, thus, attenuated by dust) K -band (2.2 ,m) luminosity, morphology and inclination (i). This sample shows that the ratio of Ldust to the observed far-UV luminosity depends not only on i, as expected, but also on morphology and, in a tighter way, on observed K -band luminosity. We find that Ldust/LFUV, eLK0.62, where LFUV and LK are the unattenuated stellar luminosities in far-UV and K, respectively, and , is the ratio of the attenuation optical depths at 0.165 ,m (,FUV) and 2.2 ,m (,K). This relation is to zeroth order independent of i and morphology. It may be further expressed as Ldust/LFUV,L,K, where ,= 0.61 , 0.02,, under the observationally motivated assumption that, for an average inclination, e,L,0.02K. We adopt calculations of two different models of attenuation of stellar light by internal dust to derive solid-angle-averaged values of ,. We find that , is positive and decreases towards 0 from the more luminous to the less luminous galaxies. This means that there is no universal ratio of far-IR luminosity to unattenuated far-UV luminosity for nearby, normal late-type galaxies. The far-IR luminosity systematically overestimates SFR in more luminous, earlier-type spirals, owing to the increased fractional contribution to dust heating of optical/near-IR photons in these objects. Conversely, it systematically underestimates SFR in fainter, later-type galaxies, the ,FUV of which is reduced. The limited statistics and the uncertainty affecting the previous scaling relations do not allow us to establish quantitative conclusions, but an analogous analysis making use of larger data sets, available in the near future (e.g. from GALEX, ASTRO-F and SIRTF), and of more advanced models will allow a quantitative test of our conclusions. [source]


Lyman break galaxies and the star formation rate of the Universe at z, 6

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2003
Elizabeth R. Stanway
ABSTRACT We determine the space density of UV-luminous starburst galaxies at z, 6 using deep HST ACS SDSS- i, (F775W) and SDSS- z, (F850LP) and VLT ISAAC J and Ks band imaging of the Chandra Deep Field South. We find eight galaxies and one star with (i,,z,) > 1.5 to a depth of z,AB= 25.6 (an 8, detection in each of the 3 available ACS epochs). This corresponds to an unobscured star formation rate of ,15 h,270 M, yr,1 at z= 5.9, equivalent to L* for the Lyman-break population at z= 3,4 (,,= 0.7, ,M= 0.3). We are sensitive to star-forming galaxies at 5.6 ,z, 7.0 with an effective comoving volume of ,1.8 105h,370 Mpc3 after accounting for incompleteness at the higher redshifts due to luminosity bias. This volume should encompass the primeval subgalactic-scale fragments of the progenitors of about a thousand L* galaxies at the current epoch. We determine a volume-averaged global star formation rate of (6.7 2.7) 10,4h70 M, yr,1 Mpc,3 at z, 6 from rest-frame UV selected starbursts at the bright end of the luminosity function: this is a lower limit because of dust obscuration and galaxies below our sensitivity limit. This measurement shows that at z, 6 the star formation density at the bright end is a factor of ,6 times less than that determined by Steidel et al. for a comparable sample of UV-selected galaxies at z= 3,4, and so extends our knowledge of the star formation history of the Universe to earlier times than previous work and into the epoch where reionization may have occurred. [source]


Entropy injection as a global feedback mechanism

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2003
S. Peng Oh
ABSTRACT Both pre-heating of the intergalactic medium and radiative cooling of low entropy gas have been proposed to explain the deviation from self-similarity in the cluster LX,TX relation and the observed entropy floor in these systems. However, severe overcooling of gas in groups is necessary for radiative cooling alone to explain the observations. Non-gravitational entropy injection must therefore still be important in these systems. We point out that, on scales of groups and below, gas heated to the required entropy floor cannot cool in a Hubble time, regardless of its subsequent adiabatic compression. Pre-heating therefore shuts off the gas supply to galaxies, and should be an important global feedback mechanism for galaxy formation. Constraints on global gas cooling can be placed from the joint evolution of the comoving star formation rate and neutral gas density. Pre-heating at high redshift can be ruled out; however, the data do not rule out passive gas consumption without inflow as z, 2. Because for pre-heated gas tcool > tdyn, we speculate that pre-heating could play a role in determining the Hubble sequence; at a given mass scale, high , peaks in the density field collapse early to form ellipticals, while low , peaks collapse late and quiescently accrete pre-heated gas to form spirals. The entropy produced by large-scale shock-heating of the intergalatic medium is significant only at late times, z < 1, and cannot produce these effects. [source]


The H, luminosity function and star formation rate up to z , 1

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2002
L. Tresse
Abstract We describe ISAAC/ESO-VLT observations of the H,,6563 Balmer line of 33 field galaxies from the Canada,France Redshift Survey (CFRS) with redshifts selected between 0.5 and 1.1. We detect H, in emission in 30 galaxies and compare the properties of this sample with the low-redshift sample of CFRS galaxies at z, 0.2. We find that the H, luminosity, L(H,), is tightly correlated to M(BAB) in the same way for both the low- and high-redshift samples. L(H,) is also correlated to L([O ii],3727), and again the relation appears to be similar at low and high redshifts. The ratio L(lsqb;O ii])/L(H,) decreases for brighter galaxies by as much as a factor of 2 on average. Derived from the H, luminosity function, the comoving H, luminosity density increases by a factor 12 from ,z,= 0.2 to ,z,= 1.3. Our results confirm a strong rise of the star formation rate (SFR) at z < 1.3, proportional to (1 +z)4.10.3 (with H0= 50 km s,1 Mpc,1, q0= 0.5). We find an average SFR(2800 )/SFR (H,) ratio of 3.2 using the Kennicutt SFR transformations. This corresponds to the dust correction that is required to make the near-ultraviolet data consistent with the reddening-corrected H, data within the self-contained, I -selected CFRS sample. [source]


Probing the dark ages with redshift distribution of gamma-ray bursts

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2002
T. Roy Choudhury
Abstract In this article, we explore the possibility of using the properties of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) to probe the physical conditions in the epochs prior to reionization. The redshift distribution of GRBs is modelled using the Press,Schechter formalism with an assumption that they follow the cosmic star formation history. We reproduce the observed star formation rate obtained from galaxies in the redshift range 0 < z < 5, as well as the redshift distribution of the GRBs inferred from the luminosity,variability correlation of the burst light curve. We show that the fraction of GRBs at high redshifts, the afterglows of which cannot be observed in the R and I bands owing to H i Gunn,Peterson optical depth can, at the most, account for one third of the dark GRBs. The observed redshift distribution of GRBs, with much less scatter than the one available today, can put stringent constraints on the epoch of reionization and the nature of gas cooling in the epochs prior to reionization. [source]


The SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey , II.

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2001
m data: evidence for cold dust in bright IRAS galaxies
This is the second in a series of papers presenting results from the SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey. In our first paper we provided 850-,m flux densities for 104 galaxies selected from the IRAS Bright Galaxy Sample and we found that the 60-, 100-,m (IRAS) and 850-,m (SCUBA) fluxes could be adequately fitted by emission from dust at a single temperature. In this paper we present 450-,m data for the galaxies. With the new data, the spectral energy distributions of the galaxies can no longer be fitted with an isothermal dust model , two temperature components are now required. Using our 450-,m data and fluxes from the literature, we find that the 450/850-,m flux ratio for the galaxies is remarkably constant, and this holds from objects in which the star formation rate is similar to our own Galaxy, to ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) such as Arp 220. The only possible explanation for this is if the dust emissivity index for all of the galaxies is ,2 and the cold dust component has a similar temperature in all galaxies . The 60-,m luminosities of the galaxies were found to depend on both the dust mass and the relative amount of energy in the warm component, with a tendency for the temperature effects to dominate at the highest L60. The dust masses estimated using the new temperatures are higher by a factor of ,2 than those determined previously using a single temperature. This brings the gas-to-dust ratios of the IRAS galaxies into agreement with those of the Milky Way and other spiral galaxies which have been intensively studied in the submm. [source]


Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the CFRS and LDSS redshift surveys , IV.

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2000
Influence of mergers in the evolution of faint field galaxies from z
Hubble Space Telescope images of a sample of 285 galaxies with measured redshifts from the Canada,France Redshift Survey (CFRS) and Autofib,Low Dispersion Spectrograph Survey (LDSS) redshift surveys are analysed to derive the evolution of the merger fraction out to redshifts z,1. We have performed visual and machine-based merger identifications, as well as counts of bright pairs of galaxies with magnitude differences ,m,1.5 mag. We find that the pair fraction increases with redshift, with up to ,20 per cent of the galaxies being in physical pairs at z,0.75,1. We derive a merger fraction varying with redshift as ,(1+z)3.20.6, after correction for line-of-sight contamination, in excellent agreement with the merger fraction derived from the visual classification of mergers for which m=3.40.6. After correcting for seeing effects on the ground-based selection of survey galaxies, we conclude that the pair fraction evolves as ,(1+z)2.70.6. This implies that an average L* galaxy will have undergone 0.8,1.8 merger events from z=1 to z=0, with 0.5 to 1.2 merger events occuring in a 2-Gyr time-span at around z,0.9. This result is consistent with predictions from semi-analytical models of galaxy formation. From the simple coaddition of the observed luminosities of the galaxies in pairs, physical mergers are computed to lead to a brightening of 0.5 mag for each pair on average, and a boost in star formation rate of a factor of 2, as derived from the average [O ii] equivalent widths. Mergers of galaxies are therefore contributing significantly to the evolution of both the luminosity function and luminosity density of the Universe out to z,1. [source]


Metallicity and kinematical clues to the formation of the Local Group

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 5 2010
R.F.G. Wyse
Abstract The kinematics and elemental abundances of resolved stars in the nearby Universe can be used to infer conditions at high redshift, trace how galaxies evolve and constrain the nature of dark matter. This approach is complementary to direct study of systems at high redshift, but I will show that analysis of individual stars allows one to break degeneracies, such as between star formation rate and stellar Initial Mass Function, that complicate the analysis of unresolved, distant galaxies ( 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


Post-starburst galaxies and the transformation of blue into red galaxies

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 9-10 2009
S. De Rijcke
Abstract We present deep single-dish radio observations of a sample of nearby post-starburst galaxies (0.05 < z < 0.1). About 50% of these post-starburst galaxies are detected at 21 cm, with HI masses of ,109 M,, up to ,1010 M,. These post-starburst galaxies are as gas-rich as spiral galaxies with comparable luminosities. There appears to exist no direct correlation between the amount of H I present in a post-starburst galaxy and its star formation rate as traced by radio continuum emission. Moreover, the end of the starburst clearly does not necessarily require the complete exhaustion of the neutral gas reservoir. High-resolution radio observations of one post-starburst binary system suggest that most of the neutral gas resides outside the stellar bodies of the galaxies. Most likely, the gas was expelled by supernova and/or AGN feedback. This effectively stops star formation, even though copious amounts of diffuse neutral gas remain in the immediate vicinity. This remaining H I reservoir may eventually lead to further episodes of star formation. This may indicate that some post-starbursts are observed in the inactive phase ofthe star formation duty cycle ( 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


A study of major mergers using a multi-phase ISM code

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 9-10 2009
J. Weniger
Abstract Galaxy interactions are a common phenomenon in clusters of galaxies. Especially major mergers are of particular importance, because they can change the morphological type of galaxies. They have an impact on the mass function of galaxies and they trigger star formation , the main driver of the Galactic Matter Cycle. Therefore, we conducted a study of major mergers by means of a multi-phase ISM code. This code is based on a TREE-SPH-code combined with a sticky particle method allowing for star formation controlled by the properties of a multi-phase ISM. This is in contrast to the usually implemented Schmidt law depending mainly on the gas density. Previously, this code was used on isolated galaxies. Since our star formation recipe is not restricted to a special type of galaxy, it is interesting to apply it to interacting galaxies, too. Our study on major mergers includes a research of global properties of the interacting system, namely the star formation rate and the star formation efficiency, the evaporation and condensation rates, as well as the mass exchange of distinct components, namely stars, diffuse ISM, and clouds. Investigating these properties provides insight to interrelations between various physical processes. The results indicate that the star formation efficiency as well as the evaporation and condensation rates are influenced by the interaction ( 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]


A Chandra survey of nearby spiral galaxies

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 1-2 2003
R.E. Kilgard
Abstract We present results from a Chandra survey of 11 nearby, face-on spiral galaxies. 24 observations totalling 900 ks of new and archival Chandra data reveal more than 1000 X-ray point sources associated with the galaxies, diffuse emission, and hundreds of serendipitous sources. We discuss source populations and luminosity functions and show that the slope of the X-ray luminosity function is correlated with the star formation rate in the galaxies. We also discuss ultraluminous X-ray sources in comparison with sources within the Milky Way. Finally, we discuss ongoing work on source classification based upon X-ray colors and spectra, position within the host galaxies, and multiwavelenth counterparts. [source]


On the interstellar medium and star formation demographics of galaxies in the local universe

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2009
Matthew S. Bothwell
ABSTRACT We present a demographic analysis of integrated star formation and gas properties for a sample of galaxies representative of the overall population at z, 0. This research was undertaken in order to characterize the nature of star formation and interstellar medium (ISM) behaviour in the local Universe, and test the extent to which global star formation rates (SFRs) can be seen as dependent on the interstellar gas content. Archival 21-cm derived H i data are compiled from the literature, and are combined with CO (J =1 , 0) derived H2 masses to calculate and characterize the total gas content for a large sample of local galaxies. The distribution in stellar mass-normalized H i content is found to exhibit the noted characteristic transition at stellar masses of ,3 1010 M,, turning off towards low values, but no such transition is observed in the equivalent distribution of molecular gas. H, based SFRs and specific star formation rates (SSFRs) are also compiled for a large (1110) sample of local galaxies. We confirm two transitions as found in previous work: a turnover towards low SFRs at high luminosities, indicative of the quenching of SF characteristic of the red sequence; and a broadening of the SF distribution in low-luminosity dwarf galaxies, again to extremely low SFRs of <10,3 M, yr,1. However, a new finding is that while the upper luminosity transition is mirrored by the turnover in H i content, suggesting that the low SFRs of the red sequence result from a lack of available gas supply, the transition towards a large spread of SFRs in the least luminous dwarf galaxies is not matched by a prominent increase in scatter in gas content. Possible mass-dependent quenching mechanisms are discussed, along with speculations that in low-mass galaxies, the H, luminosity may not faithfully trace the SFR. [source]


Exploring star formation using the filaments in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release Five

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Biswajit Pandey
ABSTRACT We have quantified the average filamentarity of the galaxy distribution in seven nearly two-dimensional strips from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release Five (SDSS DR5) using a volume-limited sample in the absolute magnitude range ,21 ,Mr,,20. The average filamentarity of star-forming (SF) galaxies, which are predominantly blue, is found to be more than that of other galaxies which are predominantly red. This difference is possibly an outcome of the fact that blue galaxies have a more filamentary distribution. Comparing the SF galaxies with only the other blue galaxies, we find that the two show nearly equal filamentarity. Separately analyzing the galaxies with high star formation rates (SFR) and low SFR, we find that the latter has a more filamentary distribution. We interpret this in terms of two effects. (i) A correlation between the SFR and individual galaxy properties like luminosity with the high-SFR galaxies being more luminous. (ii) A relation between the SFR and environmental effects like the density with the high-SFR galaxies preferentially occurring in high-density regions. These two effects are possibly not independent and are operating simultaneously. We do not find any difference in the filamentarity of SF galaxies and active galactic nuclei. [source]


Is AGN feedback necessary to form red elliptical galaxies?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
A. Khalatyan
ABSTRACT We have used the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code gadget-2 to simulate the formation of an elliptical galaxy in a group-size cosmological dark matter halo with mass Mhalo, 3 1012 h,1 M, at z= 0. The use of a stellar population synthesis model has allowed us to compute magnitudes, colours and surface brightness profiles. We have included a model to follow the growth of a central black hole and we have compared the results of simulations with and without feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN). We have studied the interplay between cold gas accretion and merging in the development of galactic morphologies, the link between colour and morphology evolution, the effect of AGN feedback on the photometry of early-type galaxies, the redshift evolution in the properties of quasar hosts, and the impact of AGN winds on the chemical enrichment of the intergalactic medium (IGM). We have found that the early phases of galaxy formation are driven by the accretion of cold filamentary flows, which form a disc galaxy at the centre of the dark matter halo. Disc star formation rates in this mode of galaxy growth are about as high as the peak star formation rates attained at a later epoch in galaxy mergers. When the dark matter halo is sufficiently massive to support the propagation of a stable shock, the gas in the filaments is heated to the virial temperature, cold accretion is shut down, and the star formation rate begins to decline. Mergers transform the spiral galaxy into an elliptical one, but they also reactivate star formation by bringing gas into the galaxy. Without a mechanism that removes gas from the merger remnants, the galaxy ends up with blue colours, which are atypical for its elliptical morphology. We have demonstrated that AGN feedback can solve this problem even with a fairly low heating efficiency. Our simulations support a picture where AGN feedback is important for quenching star formation in the remnant of wet mergers and for moving them to the red sequence. This picture is consistent with recent observational results, which suggest that AGN hosts are galaxies in migration from the blue cloud to the red sequence on the colour,magnitude diagram. However, we have also seen a transition in the properties of AGN hosts from blue and star forming at z, 2 to mainly red and dead at z, 0. Ongoing merging is the primary but not the only triggering mechanism for luminous AGN activity. Quenching by AGN is only effective after the cold filaments have dried out, since otherwise the galaxy is constantly replenished with gas. AGN feedback also contributes to raising the entropy of the hot IGM by removing low-entropy tails vulnerable to developing cooling flows. We have also demonstrated that AGN winds are potentially important for the metal enrichment of the IGM a high redshift. [source]