The star formation and extinction coevolution of UV-selected galaxies over 0.05 < z < 1.2

D. Christopher Martin, Todd Small, David Schiminovich, Ted K. Wyder, Pablo G. Pérez-González, Benjamin Johnson, Christian Wolf, Tom A. Barlow, Karl Forster, Peter G. Friedman, Patrick Morrissey, Susan G. Neff, Mark Seibert, Barry Y. Welsh, Luciana Bianchi, José Donas, Timothy M. Heckman, Young Wook Lee, Barry F. Madore, Bruno MilliardR. Michael Rich, Alex S. Szalay, Sukyoung K. Yi, Klaus Meisenheimer, George Rieke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


We use a new stacking technique to obtain mean mid-IR and far-IR to far-UV flux ratios over the rest-frame near-UV, near-IR color-magnitude diagram. We employ COMBO-17 redshifts and COMBO-17 optical, GALEX far- and near-UV, and Spitzer IRAC and MIPS mid-IR photometry. This technique permits us to probe the infrared excess (IRX), the ratio of far-IR to far-UV luminosity, and the specific star formation rate (SSFR) and their coevolution over 2 orders of magnitude of stellar mass and over redshift 0.1 < z < 1.2. We find that the SSFR and the characteristic mass (M0) above which the SSFR drops increase with redshift (downsizing). At any given epoch, the IRX is an increasing function of mass up to M0. Above this mass the IRX falls, suggesting gas exhaustion. In a given mass bin below M0, the IRX increases with time in a fashion consistent with enrichment. We interpret these trends using a simple model with a Schmidt-Kennicutt law and extinction that tracks gas density and enrichment. We find that the average IRX and SSFR follow a galaxy age parameter ξ, which is determined mainly by the galaxy mass and time since formation. We conclude that blue-sequence galaxies have properties which show simple, systematic trends with mass and time such as the steady buildup of heavy elements in the interstellar media of evolving galaxies and the exhaustion of gas in galaxies that are evolving off the blue sequence. The IRX represents a tool for selecting galaxies at various stages of evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-431
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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