The star formation rate density and dust attenuation evolution over 12 Gyr with the VVDS surveys ⋆,⋆⋆
1 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), CNRS-Université de Provence, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, via Tiepolo 11, 34143 Trieste, Italy
3 INAF – IASF, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
4 Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
6 Department of Physics, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
7 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (UMR 7095), CNRS-Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 98bis boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
8 IRA-INAF, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Received: 3 September 2011
Accepted: 31 December 2011
Aims. We investigate the global galaxy evolution over ~12 Gyr (0.05 ≤ z ≤ 4.5), from the far ultraviolet (FUV) luminosity function (LF), luminosity density (LD), and star formation rate density (SFRD), using the VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey (VVDS), a single deep galaxy redshift survey with a well controlled selection function.
Methods. We combine the VVDS Deep (17.5 ≤ IAB ≤ 24.0) and Ultra-Deep (23.00 ≤ i'AB ≤ 24.75) redshift surveys, totalizing ~11 000 galaxies, to estimate the rest-frame FUV LF and LD, using a wide wavelength range of deep photometry (337 < λ < 2310 nm). We extract the dust attenuation of the FUV radiation, embedded in the well-constrained spectral energy distributions. We then derive the dust-corrected SFRD.
Results. We find a constant and flat faint-end slope α in the FUV LF at z < 1.7. At z > 1.7, we set α steepening with (1 + z). The absolute magnitude M*FUV steadily brightens in the entire range 0 < z < 4.5, and at z > 2 it is on average brighter than in the literature, while φ∗ is on average smaller. The evolution of our total LD shows a peak at z ≃ 2, clearly present also when considering all sources of uncertainty. The SFRD history peaks as well at z ≃ 2. It first steadily rises by a factor of ~6 during 2 Gyr (from z = 4.5 to z = 2), and then decreases by a factor of ~12 during 10 Gyr down to z = 0.05. This peak is mainly produced by a similar peak within the population of galaxies with −21.5 ≤ MFUV ≤ − 19.5. As times goes by, the total SFRD is dominated by fainter and fainter galaxies. The mean dust attenuation of the global galaxy population rises fast by 1 mag during 2 Gyr from z ≃ 4.5 to z ~ 2, reaches slowly its maximum at z ≃ 1 (AFUV ≃ 2.2 mag), and then decreases by 1.1 mag during 7 Gyr down to z ≃ 0.
Conclusions. We have derived the cosmic SFRD history and the total dust amount in galaxies over a continuous period of ~12 Gyr, using a single homogeneous spectroscopic redshift sample. The presence of a clear peak at z ≃ 2 and a fast rise at z > 2 of the SFRD is compelling for models of galaxy formation. This peak is mainly produced by bright galaxies (L ≳ L*z=2), requiring that significant gas reservoirs still exist at this epoch and are probably replenished by cold accretion and wet mergers, while feedback or quenching processes are not yet strong enough to lower the SF. The dust attenuation maximum is reached ~2 Gyr after the SFRD peak, implying a contribution from the intermediate-mass stars to the dust production at z < 2.
Key words: cosmology: observations / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function / galaxies: star formation
Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile under programs 072.A-0586 (GTO), 073.A-0647 (GTO) and 177.A-0837 (LP) at the Very Large Telescope, Paranal, and based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Science de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS.
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012