Evolution of cosmic star formation in the SCUBA-2 Cosmology Legacy Survey

N. Bourne, J. S. Dunlop, E. Merlin, S. Parsa, C. Schreiber, M. Castellano, C. J. Conselice, K. E. K. Coppin, D. Farrah, A. Fontana, J. E. Geach, M. Halpern, K. K. Knudsen, M. J. Michalowski, A. Mortlock, P. Santini, D. Scott, X. W. Shu, C. Simpson, J. M. SimpsonD. J. B. Smith, P. van der Werf

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We present a new exploration of the cosmic star-formation history and dust obscuration in massive galaxies at redshifts $0.5z 10^{10}M_\odot$ galaxies at $0.5z 10$. One third of this is accounted for by 450$\mu$m-detected sources, while one fifth is attributed to UV-luminous sources (brighter than $L^\ast_{UV}$), although even these are largely obscured. By extrapolating our results to include all stellar masses, we estimate a total SFRD that is in good agreement with previous results from IR and UV data at $z\lesssim3$, and from UV-only data at $z\sim5$. The cosmic star-formation history undergoes a transition at $z\sim3-4$, as predominantly unobscured growth in the early Universe is overtaken by obscured star formation, driven by the build-up of the most massive galaxies during the peak of cosmic assembly.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberstx031
Pages (from-to)1360-1385
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2017


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.IM


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