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Journal Article

The MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field Survey: Implications of the lack of evolution in the dust attenuation–mass relation to z ∼ 2


Price,  Sedona H.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Shapley, A. E., Sanders, R. L., Salim, S., Reddy, N. A., Kriek, M., Mobasher, B., et al. (2022). The MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field Survey: Implications of the lack of evolution in the dust attenuation–mass relation to z ∼ 2. The Astrophysical Journal, 926(2): 145. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac4742.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-27BB-8
We investigate the relationship between dust attenuation and stellar mass (M*) in star-forming galaxies over cosmic time. For this analysis, we compare measurements from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field survey at z ∼ 2.3 and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) at z ∼ 0, augmenting the latter optical data set with both UV Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and mid-infrared Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) photometry from the GALEX-SDSS-WISE Catalog. We quantify dust attenuation using both spectroscopic measurements of Hα and Hβ emission lines, and photometric measurements of the rest-UV stellar continuum. The Hα/Hβ ratio is used to determine the magnitude of attenuation at the wavelength of Hα, A. Rest-UV colors and spectral energy distribution fitting are used to estimate A1600, the magnitude of attenuation at a rest wavelength of 1600 Å. As in previous work, we find a lack of significant evolution in the relation between dust attenuation and M* over the redshift range z ∼ 0 to z ∼ 2.3. Folding in the latest estimates of the evolution of Mdust, (Mdust/Mgas), and gas surface density at fixed M*, we find that the expected Mdust and dust mass surface density are both significantly higher at z ∼ 2.3 than at z ∼ 0. These differences appear at odds with the lack of evolution in dust attenuation. To explain the striking constancy in attenuation versus M*, it is essential to determine the relationship between metallicity and (Mdust/Mgas), the dust mass absorption coefficient and dust geometry, and the evolution of these relations and quantities from z ∼ 0 to z ∼ 2.3.