GOODS-ALMA: The slow downfall of star-formation in $z$ = 2-3 massive galaxies

M. Franco, D. Elbaz, L. Zhou, B. Magnelli, C. Schreiber, L. Ciesla, M. Dickinson, N. Nagar, G. Magdis, D. M. Alexander, M. Béthermin, R. Demarco, E. Daddi, T. Wang, J. Mullaney, M. Sargent, H. Inami, X. Shu, F. Bournaud, R. CharyR. T. Coogan, H. Ferguson, S. L. Finkelstein, M. Giavalisco, C. Gómez-Guijarro, D. Iono, S. Juneau, G. Lagache, L. Lin, K. Motohara, K. Okumura, M. Pannella, C. Papovich, A. Pope, W. Rujopakarn, J. Silverman, M. Xiao

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We investigate the properties of a sample of 35 galaxies, detected with ALMA at 1.1 mm in the GOODS-ALMA field (area of 69 arcmin$^2$, resolution = 0.60", RMS $\simeq$ 0.18 mJy beam$^{-1}$). Using the UV-to-radio deep multiwavelength coverage of the GOODS-South field, we fit the spectral energy distributions of these galaxies to derive their key physical properties. The galaxies detected by ALMA are among the most massive at $z$ = 2-4 (M$_{\star,med}$ = 8.5$ \times$ 10$^{10}$ M$_\odot$) and are either starburst or located in the upper part of the galaxy star-forming main sequence. A significant portion of our galaxy population ($\sim$ 40%), located at $z\sim$ 2.5-3, exhibits abnormally low gas fractions. The sizes of these galaxies, measured with ALMA, are compatible with the trend between $H$-band size and stellar mass observed for $z\sim2$ elliptical galaxies suggesting that they are building compact bulges. We show that there is a strong link between star formation surface density (at 1.1 mm) and gas depletion time: the more compact a galaxy's star-forming region is, the shorter its lifetime will be (without gas replenishment). The identified compact sources associated with relatively short depletion timescales ($\sim$100 Myr), are the ideal candidates to be the progenitors of compact elliptical galaxies at $z$ $\sim$ 2.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA30
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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