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SHARDS: stellar populations and star formation histories of a mass-selected sample of 0.65 < z < 1.1 galaxies

AuthorsHernán-Caballero, Antonio ; Alonso-Herrero, A. ; Pérez-González, Pablo G.; Cava, Antonio; Gallego, Jesús
KeywordsGalaxies: fundamental parameters
Galaxies: high-redshift
Galaxies: statistics
Galaxies: evolution
Galaxies: stellar content
Infrared: galaxies
Issue Date2013
PublisherOxford University Press
Royal Astronomical Society
CitationMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 434(3): 2136-2152 (2013)
AbstractWe report on results from the analysis of a stellar mass-selected (log (M*/M⊙) > 9.0) sample of 1644 galaxies at 0.65<z<1.1 with ultradeep (mAB < 26.5) optical medium-band (R ~ 50) photometry from the Survey for High-z Absorption Red and Dead Sources (SHARDS). The spectral resolution of SHARDS allows us to consistently measure the strength of the 4000Å spectral break [Dn(4000), an excellent age indicator for the stellar populations of quiescent galaxies] for all galaxies at z ~ 0.9 down to log (M*/M⊙) ~ 9. The Dn(4000) index cannot be resolved from broad-band photometry, and measurements from optical spectroscopic surveys are typically limited to galaxies at least 10 times more massive. When combined with the rest-frame U - V colour, (U - V)r, Dn(4000) provides a powerful diagnostic of the extinction affecting the stellar population that is relatively insensitive to degeneracies with age, metallicity or star formation history. We use this novel approach to estimate de-reddened colours and lightweighted stellar ages for individual sources. We explore the relationships linking stellar mass, (U - V)r, and Dn(4000) for the sources in the sample, and compare them to those found in local galaxies. The main results are: (a) both Dn(4000) and (U - V)r correlate with M*. The dispersion in Dn(4000) values at a given M* increases with M*, while the dispersion for (U - V)r decreases due to the higher average extinction prevalent in massive star-forming galaxies. (b) For massive galaxies, we find a smooth transition between the blue cloud and red sequence in the intrinsic U - V colour, in contrast with other recent results. (c) At a fixed stellar age, we find a positive correlation between extinction and stellar mass. (d) The fraction of sources with declining or halted star formation increases steeply with the stellar mass, from ~5 per cent at log (M*/M⊙) = 9.0-9.5 to ~80 per cent at log (M*/M⊙) > 11, in agreement with downsizing scenarios.
DescriptionA. Hernán-Caballero et al.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1165
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/mnras/stt1165
issn: 0035-8711
e-issn: 1365-2966
Appears in Collections:(IFCA) Artículos
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