The MOSDEF Survey: The Nature of Mid-infrared Excess Galaxies and a Comparison of IR and UV Star Formation Tracers at z ∼ 2
Freeman, William R.
Leung, Gene C. K.
Price, Sedona H.
Sanders, Ryan L.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
galaxies: star formation
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationMojegan Azadi et al 2018 ApJ 866 63
Rights© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractWe present an analysis using the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey on the nature of "MIR-excess" galaxies, which have star formation rates (SFRs) inferred from mid-infrared (MIR) data that are substantially elevated relative to those estimated from dust-corrected UV data. We use a sample of similar to 200 galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at 1.40 < z < 2.61 with 24 mu m detections (rest-frame 8 mu m) from MIPS/Spitzer. We find that the identification of MIR-excess galaxies strongly depends on the methodologies used to estimate IR luminosity (L-IR) and to correct the UV light for dust attenuation. We find that extrapolations of the SFR from the observed 24 mu m flux, using luminosity-dependent templates based on local galaxies, substantially overestimate L-IR in z similar to 2 galaxies. By including Herschel observations and using a stellar-mass-dependent, luminosity-independent L-IR, we obtain more reliable estimates of the SFR and a lower fraction of MIR-excess galaxies. Once stellar-mass selection biases are taken into account, we identify similar to 24% of our galaxies as MIR excess. However, SFRH alpha is not elevated in MIR-excess galaxies compared to MIR-normal galaxies, indicating that the intrinsic fraction of MIR excess may be lower. Using X-ray-, IR-, and optically selected AGNs in MOSDEF, we do not find a higher prevalence for AGNs in MIR-excess galaxies relative to MIR-normal galaxies. A stacking analysis of X-ray-undetected galaxies does not reveal a harder spectrum in MIR-excess galaxies relative to MIR-normal galaxies. Our analysis indicates that AGN activity does not contribute substantially to the MIR excess and instead implies that it is likely due to the enhanced polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNSF AAG grant [AST-1312780, 1312547, 1312764, 1313171]; Space Telescope Science Institute [AR-13907]; W.M. Keck Foundation
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