A Census of Star Formation Histories of Massive Galaxies at 0.6 < z < 1 from Spectrophotometric Modeling Using Bagpipes and Prospector

Yasha Kaushal, Angelos Nersesian, Rachel Bezanson, Arjen van der Wel, Joel Leja, Adam Carnall, Anna Gallazzi, Stefano Zibetti, Gourav Khullar, Marijn Franx, Adam Muzzin, Anna de Graaff, Camilla Pacifici, Katherine E. Whitaker, Eric F. Bell, Marco Martorano

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2 Scopus citations


We present individual star formation histories (SFHs) of ∼3000 massive galaxies (log(M */M ) > 10.5) from the Large Early Galaxy Astrophysics Census spectroscopic survey at a lookback time of ∼7 billion yr and quantify the population trends leveraging 20 hr deep-integrated spectra of these ∼1800 star-forming and ∼1200 quiescent galaxies at 0.6 < z < 1.0. Essentially all galaxies at this epoch contain stars of age <3 Gyr, in contrast with older massive galaxies today, facilitating better recovery of previous generations of star formation at cosmic noon and earlier. We conduct spectrophotometric analysis using parametric and nonparametric Bayesian stellar population synthesis modeling tools—Bagpipes and Prospector—to constrain the median SFHs of this mass complete sample and characterize population trends. A consistent picture arises for the late-time stellar mass growth when quantified as t 50 and t 90, corresponding to the age of the Universe when galaxies formed 50% and 90% of their total stellar mass, although the two methods disagree at the earliest formation times (e.g., t 10). Our results reveal trends in both stellar mass and stellar velocity dispersion as in the local Universe—low-mass galaxies with shallower potential wells grow their stellar masses later in cosmic history compared to high-mass galaxies. Unlike local quiescent galaxies, the median duration of late-time star formation (τ SF,late = t 90-t 50) does not consistently depend on the stellar mass. This census sets a benchmark for future deep spectrophotometric studies of the more distant Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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