Volume 625, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Published online||22 May 2019|
Radio continuum size evolution of star-forming galaxies over 0.35 < z < 2.25⋆
Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 International Max Planck Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, Bonn, Germany
3 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
5 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
6 Astronomy Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK
7 Department of Physics, University of Zagreb, Bijenička cesta 32, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia
8 Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Lyngbyvej 2, Cøpenhagen 2100, Denmark
9 Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
10 School of Physics and Astronomy, Rochester Institute of Technology, 84 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
11 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Accepted: 28 March 2019
To better constrain the physical mechanisms driving star formation, we present the first systematic study of the radio continuum size evolution of star-forming galaxies (SFGs) over the redshift range 0.35 < z < 2.25. We use the VLA COSMOS 3 GHz map (noise rms = 2.3 μJy beam−1, θbeam = 0.75 arcsec) to construct a mass-complete sample of 3184 radio-selected SFGs that reside on and above the main sequence (MS) of SFGs. We constrain the overall extent of star formation activity in galaxies by applying a 2D Gaussian model to their radio continuum emission. Extensive Monte Carlo simulations are used to validate the robustness of our measurements and characterize the selection function. We find no clear dependence between the radio size and stellar mass, M⋆, of SFGs with 10.5 ≲ log(M⋆/M⊙) ≲ 11.5. Our analysis suggests that MS galaxies are preferentially extended, while SFGs above the MS are always compact. The median effective radius of SFGs on (above) the MS of Reff = 1.5 ± 0.2 (1.0 ± 0.2) kpc remains nearly constant with cosmic time; a parametrization of the form Reff ∝ (1 + z)α yields a shallow slope of only α = −0.26 ± 0.08 (0.12 ± 0.14) for SFGs on (above) the MS. The size of the stellar component of galaxies is larger than the extent of the radio continuum emission by a factor ∼2 (1.3) at z = 0.5 (2), indicating star formation is enhanced at small radii. The galactic-averaged star formation rate surface density (ΣSFR) scales with the distance to the MS, except for a fraction of MS galaxies (≲10%) that harbor starburst-like ΣSFR. These “hidden” starbursts might have experienced a compaction phase due to disk instability and/or a merger-driven burst of star formation, which may or may not significantly offset a galaxy from the MS. We thus propose to use ΣSFR and distance to the MS in conjunction to better identify the galaxy population undergoing a starbursting phase.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: structure / galaxies: starburst / radio continuum: galaxies
A catalog including the flux and size measurements is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/625/A114
© ESO 2019
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