We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

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

Franco, M. and Elbaz, D. and Zhou, L. and Magnelli, B. and Schreiber, C. and Ciesla, L. and Dickinson, M. and Nagar, N. and Magdis, G. and Alexander, D. M. and Béthermin, M. and Demarco, R. and Daddi, E. and Wang, T. and Mullaney, J. and Sargent, M. and Inami, H. and Shu, X. and Bournaud, F. and Chary, R. and Coogan, R. T. and Ferguson, H. and Finkelstein, S. L. and Giavalisco, M. and Gómez-Guijarro, C. and Iono, D. and Juneau, S. and Lagache, G. and Lin, L. and Motohara, K. and Okumura, K. and Pannella, M. and Papovich, C. and Pope, A. and Rujopakarn, W. and Silverman, J. and Xiao, M. (2020) 'GOODS-ALMA: The slow downfall of star formation in z = 2–3 massive galaxies.', Astronomy & astrophysics., 643 . A30.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:31 August 2020
Date deposited:11 November 2020
Date of first online publication:27 October 2020
Date first made open access:11 November 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar