A new method for classifying galaxy SEDs from multiwavelength photometry
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We present a new method to classify the broad-band optical–near-infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of galaxies using three shape parameters (super-colours) based on a principal component analysis of model SEDs. As well as providing a compact representation of the wide variety of SED shapes, the method allows for easy visualization of information loss and biases caused by the incomplete sampling of the rest-frame SED as a function of redshift. We apply the method to galaxies in the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope Infrared Deep Sky Survey Ultra Deep Survey with 0.9 < z < 1.2, and confirm our classifications by stacking rest-frame optical spectra for a fraction of objects in each class. As well as cleanly separating a tight red sequence from star-forming galaxies, three unusual populations are identifiable by their unique colours: very dusty star-forming galaxies with high metallicity and old mean stellar age; post-starburst galaxies which have formed ≳10 per cent of their mass in a recent unsustained starburst event; and metal-poor quiescent dwarf galaxies. We find that quiescent galaxies account for 45 per cent of galaxies with log M*/M⊙ > 11, declining steadily to 13 per cent at log M*/M⊙ = 10. The properties and mass function of the post-starburst galaxies are consistent with a scenario in which gas-rich mergers contribute to the growth of the low- and intermediate-mass range of the red sequence.
Wild , V , Almaini , O , Cirasuolo , M , Dunlop , J , McLure , R , Bowler , R , Ferreira , J , Bradshaw , E , Chuter , R & Hartley , W 2014 , ' A new method for classifying galaxy SEDs from multiwavelength photometry ' Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol 440 , no. 2 , pp. 1880-1898 . DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu212
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
VW acknowledges support from the European Research Council Starting Grant (PI: V. Wild), European Research Council Advanced Grant (PI: J. Dunlop) and European Career Re-integration Grant (PI: V. Wild). JSD acknowledges support from the European Research Council Advanced Grant (PI: J. Dunlop). RM acknowledges support from the European Research Council Consolidator Grant (PI: R. McLure). JSD also acknowledges the contribution of the EC FP7 SPACE project ASTRODEEP (Ref. No: 312725). This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHYS-1066293.
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