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How is star formation fed and quenched in massive galaxies at high redshift?

AuthorsPérez-González, Pablo G.; González-Serrano, José Ignacio ; Fernández-Soto, Alberto
Issue Date2015
PublisherSociedad Española de Astronomía
CitationThe Spanish Square Kilometre Array White Book: 109-117 (2015)
AbstractObservations of the location and kinematics of the atomic gas (HI) and the continuum radio emission from high redshift galaxies would mean a huge step forward in our understanding of galaxy evolution. We now have a secure global picture of the stellar content of massive galaxies and their precursors up to z~4. But we still have to understand why star formation in these systems started early and quenched some time after, a scenario known as downsizing which, at face value, conflicts with the predictions from the current hierarchical galaxy formation paradigm. SKA will provide the missing piece to solve the puzzle: information about the amounts of gas falling into galaxies to form stars, as well as data to measure when and how the star formation turns off as the gas stops cooling due to still to be understood feedback mechanisms, such as (radio mode) obscured nuclear activity.
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