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GOODS-ALMA: The slow downfall of star formation in z = 2–3 massive galaxies

Franco, M.; Elbaz, D.; Zhou, L.; Magnelli, B.; Schreiber, C.; Ciesla, L.; Dickinson, M.; Nagar, N.; Magdis, G.; Alexander, D.M.; Béthermin, M.; Demarco, R.; Daddi, E.; Wang, T.; Mullaney, J.; Sargent, M.; Inami, H.; Shu, X.; Bournaud, F.; Chary, R.; Coogan, R.T.; Ferguson, H.; Finkelstein, S.L.; Giavalisco, M.; Gómez-Guijarro, C.; Iono, D.; Juneau, S.; Lagache, G.; Lin, L.; Motohara, K.; Okumura, K.; Pannella, M.; Papovich, C.; Pope, A.; Rujopakarn, W.; Silverman, J.; Xiao, M.

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M. Franco

D. Elbaz

L. Zhou

B. Magnelli

C. Schreiber

L. Ciesla

M. Dickinson

N. Nagar

G. Magdis

M. Béthermin

R. Demarco

E. Daddi

T. Wang

J. Mullaney

M. Sargent

H. Inami

X. Shu

F. Bournaud

R. Chary

R.T. Coogan

H. Ferguson

S.L. Finkelstein

M. Giavalisco

C. Gómez-Guijarro

D. Iono

S. Juneau

G. Lagache

L. Lin

K. Motohara

K. Okumura

M. Pannella

C. Papovich

A. Pope

W. Rujopakarn

J. Silverman

M. Xiao


We investigate the properties of a sample of 35 galaxies, detected with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) at 1.1 mm in the GOODS-ALMA field (area of 69 arcmin2, resolution = 0.60″, rms ≃ 0.18 mJy beam−1). Using the ultraviolet-to-radio deep multiwavelength coverage of the GOODS–South field, we fit the spectral energy distributions of these galaxies to derive their key physical properties. The galaxies detected by ALMA are among the most massive at z = 2−4 (M⋆, med = 8.5 × 1010 M⊙) and they are either starburst or located in the upper part of the galaxy star-forming main sequence. A significant portion of our galaxy population (∼40%), located at z ∼ 2.5 − 3, exhibits abnormally low gas fractions. The sizes of these galaxies, measured with ALMA, are compatible with the trend between the rest-frame 5000 Å size and stellar mass observed for z ∼ 2 elliptical galaxies, suggesting that they are building compact bulges. We show that there is a strong link between star formation surface density (at 1.1 mm) and gas depletion time: The more compact a galaxy’s star-forming region is, the shorter its lifetime will be (without gas replenishment). The identified compact sources associated with relatively short depletion timescales (∼100 Myr) are the ideal candidates to be the progenitors of compact elliptical galaxies at z ∼ 2.


Franco, M., Elbaz, D., Zhou, L., Magnelli, B., Schreiber, C., Ciesla, L., …Xiao, M. (2020). GOODS-ALMA: The slow downfall of star formation in z = 2–3 massive galaxies. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 643, Article A30.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 31, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2020
Publication Date 2020-10
Deposit Date Nov 11, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 11, 2020
Journal Astronomy and astrophysics.
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Electronic ISSN 1432-0746
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 643
Article Number A30
Public URL


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