The rise of massive red galaxies: The color-magnitude and color-stellar mass diagrams for z phot ≲ 2 from the multiwavelength survey by yale-chile

Edward N. Taylor, Marijn Franx, Pieter G Van Dokkum, Eric F. Bell, Gabriel B. Brammer, Gregory Rudnick, Stijn Wuyts, Eric Gawiser, Paulina Lira, C. Megan Urry, Hans Walter Rix

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59 Scopus citations


We present the color-magnitude and color-stellar mass diagrams for galaxies with z phot ≲ 2, based on a K (AB) < 22 catalog of the × □° Extended Chandra Deep Field South from the MUltiwavelength Survey by Yale-Chile. Our main sample of 7840 galaxies contains 1297 M *>1011 M galaxies in the range 0.2 < z phot < 1.8. We show empirically that this catalog is approximately complete for M *>1011 M galaxies for z phot < 1.8. For this mass-limited sample, we show that the locus of the red sequence color-stellar mass relation evolves as Δ(u - r) (-0.44 ± 0.02)z phot for z phot ≲ 1.2. For z phot ≳ 1.3, however, we are no longer able to reliably distinguish red and blue subpopulations from the observed color distribution; we show that this would require much deeper near-infrared data. At 1.5 < z phot < 1.8, the comoving number density of M *>1011 M galaxies is 50% of the local value, with a red fraction of 33%. Making a parametric fit to the observed evolution, we find n tot(z) (1 + z phot)-0.520.12(0.20). We find stronger evolution in the red fraction: f red(z) (1 + z phot) -1.170.18(0.21). Through a series of sensitivity analyses, we show that the most important sources of systematic error are (1) systematic differences in the analysis of the z ≈ 0 and z ≫ 0 samples; (2) systematic effects associated with details of the photometric redshift calculation; and (3) uncertainties in the photometric calibration. With this in mind, we show that our results based on photometric redshifts are consistent with a completely independent analysis which does not require redshift information for individual galaxies. Our results suggest that, at most, 1/5 of local red sequence galaxies with M *>1011 M were already in place at z 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1171-1199
Number of pages29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Galaxies: stellar content

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