The dust attenuation of star-forming galaxies at z ~ 3 and beyond: New insights from ALMA observations




Fudamoto, Yoshinobu
Oesch, Pascal A
Schinnerer, E
Groves, Brent
Karim, A
Magnelli, B
Sargent, M T
Cassata, P.
Lang, P
Leslie, S K

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Oxford University Press


We present results on the dust attenuation of galaxies at redshift ~3-6 by studying the relationship between the UV spectral slope (βUV) and the infrared excess (IRX; LIR/LUV) using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) far-infrared continuum observations. Our study is based on a sample of 67 massive, star-forming galaxies with a median mass of M* ~ 1010.7 M⊙ spanning a redshift range z = 2.6-3.7 (median z = 3.2) that were observed with ALMA at λrest = 300 μm. Both the individual ALMA detections (41 sources) and stacks including all galaxies show the IRX-βUV relationship at z ~ 3 is mostly consistent with that of local starburst galaxies on average. However, we find evidence for a large dispersion around the mean relationship by up to ±0.5 dex. Nevertheless, the locally calibrated dust correction factors based on the IRX-βUV relation are on average applicable to main-sequence z ~ 3 galaxies. This does not appear to be the case at even higher redshifts, however. Using public ALMA observations of z ~ 4-6 galaxies we find evidence for a significant evolution in the IRX-βUV and the IRX-M* relations beyond z ~ 3 towards lower IRX values. We discuss several caveats that could affect these results, including the assumed dust temperature. ALMA observations of larger z > 3 galaxy sample spanning a wide range of physical parameters (e.g. lower stellar mass) will be important to investigate this intriguing redshift evolution further.



galaxies: evolution, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: star formation, submillimetre: ISM



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


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