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Star-forming galaxies at low-redshift in the SHARDS survey

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Lumbreras Calle, A. and Muñoz Tuñón, C. and Méndez Abreu, J. and Mas Hesse, J.M. and Pérez González, Pablo Guillermo and Alcalde Pampliega, B. and Arrabal Haro, P. and Cava, A. and Domínguez Sánchez, H. and Eliche Moral, María del Carmen and Alonso Herrera, A. and Borlaff, A. and Gallego Maestro, Jesús and Hernán Caballero, Antonio and Koekemoer, A.M. and Rodríguez Muñoz, L. (2019) Star-forming galaxies at low-redshift in the SHARDS survey. Astronomy & astrophysics, 621 . ISSN 1432-0746

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201731670




Abstract

Context. The physical processes driving the evolution of star formation (SF) in galaxies over cosmic time still present many open questions. Recent galaxy surveys allow now to study these processes in great detail at intermediate redshift (0 ≤ z ≤ 0.5).
Aims. We build a complete sample of star-forming galaxies and analyze their properties, reaching systems with low stellar masses and low star formation rates (SFRs) at intermediate-to-low redshift.
Methods. We use data from the SHARDS multiband survey in the GOODS-North field. Its depth (up to magnitude ⟨m3σ⟩~ 26.5) and its spectro-photometric resolution (R ~ 50) provides us with an ideal dataset to search for emission line galaxies (ELGs). We develop a new algorithm to identify low-redshift (z < 0.36) ELGs by detecting the [OIII]5007 and Hα emission lines simultaneously. We fit the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the selected sample, using a model with two single stellar populations.
Results. We find 160 star-forming galaxies for which we derive equivalent widths (EWs) and absolute fluxes of both emission lines. We detect EWs as low as 12 Å, with median values for the sample of ~35 Å in [OIII]5007 and ~56 Å in Hα, respectively. Results from the SED fitting show a young stellar population with low median metallicity (36% of the solar value) and extinction (AV ~ 0.37), with median galaxy stellar mass ~10^(8.5) M⊙. Gas-phase metallicities measured from available spectra are also low. ELGs in our sample present bluer colours in the UVJ plane than the median colour-selected star-forming galaxy in SHARDS. We suggest a new V-J colour criterion to separate ELGs from non-ELGs in blue galaxy samples. In addition, several galaxies present high densities of O-type stars, possibly producing galactic superwinds, which makes them interesting targets for follow-up spectroscopy.
Conclusions. We have demonstrated the efficiency of SHARDS in detecting low-mass ELGs (~2 magnitudes deeper than previous spectroscopic surveys in the same field). The selected sample accounts for 20% of the global galaxy population at this redshift and luminosity, and is characterized by young SF bursts with sub-solar metallicities and low extinction. However, robust fits to the full SEDs can only be obtained including an old stellar population, suggesting the young component is built up by a recent burst of SF in an otherwise old galaxy.


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© ESO 2019. This work was partly financed by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) within the ESTALLIDOS project (AYA2013-47742-C4-2P and AYA2016-79724-C4-2-P). AL-C acknowledges financial support from MINECO PhD contract BES-2014-071055 and from grant EEBB-I-16-10913 for a short stay at St. Andrews University. J.M.-A. acknowledges support from the European Research Council Starting Grant (SEDmorph; P.I. V. Wild) and MINECO AYA2013-43-43188-P grant. P.G.P.-G. and A.HC. acknowledge support from MINECO AYA2015-70815-ERC and AYA2015- 63650-P Grants. JMMH acknowledges funding by MINECO grant ESP2015- 65712-C5-1-R. This work is based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma. This work is (partly) based on data obtained with the SHARDS filter set, purchased by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). SHARDS was funded by the Spanish Government through grant AYA2012-31277. This work is partly based on observations taken by the 3D-HST Treasury Program (GO 12177 and 12328) with the NASA/ESA HST, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. This work has made use of the programming software R (R Core Team 2015). We would like to thank S. Barger for kindly providing longslit spectra for 26 galaxies, and to C. Leitherer for help making use of the Starburst99 code.

Uncontrolled Keywords:M-circle-dot; Tadpole advanced camera; Formation rate density; Stellar models; Giant clumps; H-alpha; Luminosity function; Formation history; Formation rates; Chain galaxies
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
ID Code:55164
Deposited On:28 May 2019 11:33
Last Modified:29 May 2019 08:04

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