The unexpectedly large dust and gas content of quiescent galaxies at z > 1.4

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Gobat , R , Daddi , E , Magdis , G , Bournaud , F , Sargent , M , Martig , M , Jin , S , Finoguenov , A , Bethermin , M , Hwang , H S , Renzini , A , Wilson , G W , Aretxaga , I , Yun , M , Strazzullo , V & Valentino , F 2018 , ' The unexpectedly large dust and gas content of quiescent galaxies at z > 1.4 ' , Nature Astronomy , vol. 2 , no. 3 , pp. 239-246 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-017-0352-5

Title: The unexpectedly large dust and gas content of quiescent galaxies at z > 1.4
Author: Gobat, R.; Daddi, E.; Magdis, G.; Bournaud, F.; Sargent, M.; Martig, M.; Jin, S.; Finoguenov, A.; Bethermin, M.; Hwang, H. S.; Renzini, A.; Wilson, G. W.; Aretxaga, I.; Yun, M.; Strazzullo, V.; Valentino, F.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Date: 2018-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Nature Astronomy
ISSN: 2397-3366
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/308517
Abstract: Early-type galaxies (ETGs) contain most of the stars present in the local Universe and, above a stellar mass content of similar to 5 x 10(10) solar masses, vastly outnumber spiral galaxies such as the Milky Way. These massive spheroidal galaxies have, in the present day, very little gas or dust in proportion to their mass(1), and their stellar populations have been evolving passively for over 10 billion years. The physical mechanisms that led to the termination of star formation in these galaxies and depletion of their interstellar medium remain largely conjectural. In particular, there are currently no direct measurements of the amount of residual gas that might still be present in newly quiescent spheroidals at high redshift(2). Here we show that quiescent ETGs at redshift z similar to 1.8, close to their epoch of quenching, contained at least two orders of magnitude more dust at a fixed stellar mass compared with local ETGs. This implies the presence of substantial amounts of gas (5-10%), which has been consumed less efficiently than in more active galaxies, probably due to their spheroidal morphology, consistent with our simulations. This lower star formation efficiency, combined with an extended hot gas halo possibly maintained by persistent feedback from an active galactic nucleus, keep ETGs mostly passive throughout cosmic time.
Subject: GMASS ULTRADEEP SPECTROSCOPY
STAR-FORMATION
ELLIPTIC GALAXIES
MOLECULAR GAS
ATLAS(3D) PROJECT
MASSIVE GALAXIES
MU-M
POPULATION SYNTHESIS
COSMIC EVOLUTION
RADIO PROPERTIES
115 Astronomy, Space science
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