Observations of the initial formation and evolution of spiral galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS fields

Margalef-Bentabol, Berta and Conselice, Christopher J and Haeussler, Boris and Casteels, Kevin and Lintott, Chris and Masters, Karen and Simmons, Brooke (2022) Observations of the initial formation and evolution of spiral galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS fields. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 511 (1). pp. 1502-1517. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

Many aspects concerning the formation of spiral and disc galaxies remain unresolved, despite their discovery and detailed study over the past 150 years. As such, we present the results of an observational search for proto-spiral galaxies and their earliest formation, including the discovery of a significant population of spiral-like and clumpy galaxies at z &gt; 1 in deep Hubble Space Telescope CANDELS imaging. We carry out a detailed analysis of this population, characterizing their number density evolution, masses, star formation rates and sizes. Overall, we find a surprisingly high overall number density of massive M* &gt; 1010 M⊙ spiral-like galaxies (including clumpy spirals) at z &gt; 1 of 0.18 per arcmin−2. We measure and characterise the decline in the number of these systems at higher redshift using simulations to correct for redshift effects in identifications, finding that the true fraction of spiral-like galaxies grows at lower redshifts as ∼ (1 + z)−1.1. This is such that the absolute numbers of spirals increases by a factor of ∼10 between z = 2.5 and z = 0.5. We also demonstrate that these spiral-like systems have large sizes at z &gt; 2, and high star formation rates, above the main-sequence, These galaxies represent a major mode of galaxy formation in the early universe, perhaps driven by the spiral structure itself. We finally discuss the origin of these systems, including their likely formation through gas accretion and minor mergers, but conclude that major mergers are an unlikely cause.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Berta Margalef-Bentabol, Christopher J Conselice, Boris Haeussler, Kevin Casteels, Chris Lintott, Karen Masters, Brooke Simmons, Observations of the initial formation and evolution of spiral galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS fields, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 511, Issue 1, March 2022, Pages 1502–1517, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac080 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/511/1/1502/6516430
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912
Subjects:
ID Code:
167290
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 Mar 2022 15:00
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
21 May 2022 00:52