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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof David Alexander

Yoshikawa, T., Akiyama, M., Kajisawa, M., Alexander, D.M., Ohta, K., Suzuki, R., Tokoku, C., Uchimoto, Y.K., Konishi, M., Yamada, T., Tanaka, I., Omata, K., Nishimura, T., Koekemoer, A.M., Brandt, N. & Ichikawa, T. (2010). MOIRCS deep survey. VI. Near-infrared spectroscopy of K-selected star-forming galaxies at z ~ 2. The astrophysical journal 718(1): 112-132.

Author(s) from Durham


We present the results of near-infrared multi-object spectroscopic observations for 37 BzK-color-selected star-forming galaxies conducted with MOIRCS on the Subaru Telescope. The sample is drawn from the Ks -band-selected catalog of the MOIRCS Deep Survey in the GOODS-N region. About half of our samples are selected from the publicly available 24 μm-source catalog of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer on board the Spitzer Space Telescope. Hα emission lines are detected from 23 galaxies, of which the median redshift is 2.12. We derived the star formation rates (SFRs) from extinction-corrected Hα luminosities. The extinction correction is estimated from the spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting of multiband photometric data covering UV to near-infrared wavelengths. The Balmer decrement of the stacked emission lines shows that the amount of extinction for the ionized gas is larger than that for the stellar continuum. From a comparison of the extinction-corrected Hα luminosity and other SFR indicators, we found that the relation between the dust properties of stellar continuum and ionized gas is different depending on the intrinsic SFR (differential extinction). We compared SFRs estimated from extinction-corrected Hα luminosities with stellar masses estimated from SED fitting. The comparison shows no correlation between SFR and stellar mass. Some galaxies with stellar mass smaller than ~1010 M sun show SFRs higher than ~100 M sun yr-1. The specific SFRs (SSFRs) of these galaxies are remarkably high; galaxies which have SSFR higher than ~10-8 yr-1 are found in eight of the present sample. From the best-fit parameters of SED fitting for these high-SSFR galaxies, we find that the average age of the stellar population is younger than 100 Myr, which is consistent with the implied high SSFR. The large SFR implies the possibility that the high-SSFR galaxies significantly contribute to the cosmic SFR density of the universe at z ~ 2. When we apply the larger extinction correction for the ionized gas or the differential extinction correction, the total SFR density estimated from the Hα-emission-line galaxies is 0.089-0.136 M sun yr-1 Mpc-3, which is consistent with the total SFR densities in the literature. The metallicity of the high-SSFR galaxies, which is estimated from the N2 index, is larger than that expected from the mass-metallicity relation of UV-selected galaxies at z ~ 2 by Erb et al.
This study is based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.