The continuity equation is developed for the stellar mass content of galaxies and exploited to derive the stellar mass function of active and quiescent galaxies over the redshift range z â¼ 0-8. The continuity equation requires two specific inputs gauged from observations: (i) the star formation rate functions determined on the basis of the latest UV+far-IR/submillimeter/radio measurements and (ii) average star formation histories for individual galaxies, with different prescriptions for disks and spheroids. The continuity equation also includes a source term taking into account (dry) mergers, based on recent numerical simulations and consistent with observations. The stellar mass function derived from the continuity equation is coupled with the halo mass function and with the SFR functions to derive the star formation efficiency and the main sequence of star-forming galaxies via the abundance-matching technique. A remarkable agreement of the resulting stellar mass functions for active and quiescent galaxies of the galaxy main sequence, and of the star formation efficiency with current observations is found; the comparison with data also allows the characteristic timescales for star formation and quiescence of massive galaxies, the star formation history of their progenitors, and the amount of stellar mass added by in situ star formation versus that contributed by external merger events to be robustly constrained. The continuity equation is shown to yield quantitative outcomes that detailed physical models must comply with, that can provide a basis for improving the (subgrid) physical recipes implemented in theoretical approaches and numerical simulations, and that can offer a benchmark for forecasts on future observations with multiband coverage, as will become routinely achievable in the era of JWST.
|Titolo:||Stellar Mass Function of Active and Quiescent Galaxies via the Continuity Equation|
|Autori:||Lapi, A.; Mancuso, C.; Bressan, A.; Danese, L.|
|Rivista:||THE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.3847/1538-4357/aa88c9|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|