Volume 455, Number 3, September I 2006
|Page(s)||879 - 890|
|Published online||16 August 2006|
The VIMOS VLT Deep Survey
Evolution of the luminosity functions by galaxy type up to z = 1.5 from first epoch data
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Astronomia, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
3 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), CNRS-Université de Provence, BP 8, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12, France
4 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (UMR 7095), 98 bis Bvd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
5 Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
6 INAF – IASF, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
7 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (UMR 5572), 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
8 INAF – IRA, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
9 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
10 Max Planck Institut fur Astrophysik, 85741 Garching bei München, Germany
11 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
12 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy
Accepted: 2 May 2006
From first epoch observations of the VIMOS VLT Deep Survey (VVDS) we have derived luminosity functions for galaxy samples selected by spectral type out to . With the VVDS we are able to investigate within the same sample the evolution of the type dependent luminosity function selected in several rest-frame bands over 70% of the age of the Universe. The simple VVDS magnitude limit is significantly fainter than other complete spectroscopic surveys and allows the determination of the faint end slope of the luminosity function with unprecedented accuracy. Galaxies have been classified in four spectral types, from early type to irregular galaxies, using their colours and redshift. Luminosity functions have been computed in the U, B, V, R and I rest frame bands for each type, in redshift bins from to . In all the considered rest frame bands, we find a significant steepening of the luminosity function from early to late types. The characteristic luminosity M* of the Schechter function is significantly fainter for late type galaxies and this difference between types increases in the redder bands. For each spectral type we find a brightening of M* with increasing redshift, ranging from ≲0.5 mag for early type galaxies to ~1 mag for the latest type galaxies, while the slope of the luminosity function of each spectral type is consistent with being redshift-independent. The luminosity function of early type galaxies is consistent with passive evolution up to , whilst the number of bright () early type galaxies has decreased by ~40% from to . The normalisation of the luminosity function of latest type galaxies evolves strongly with redshift with an increase of more than a factor 2 from to : the density of bright () late type galaxies in the same redshift range increases of a factor ~6.6. These results indicate a strong type-dependent evolution and identifies the latest spectral types as responsible for most of the evolution of the UV-optical luminosity function out to .
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function / galaxies: statistics / surveys
© ESO, 2006
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