The LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey: the radio view of the cosmic star formation history

R. K. Cochrane, R. Kondapally, P. N. Best, J. Sabater, K. J. Duncan, D. J. B. Smith, M. J. Hardcastle, H. J. A. Röttgering, I. Prandoni, P. Haskell, G. Gürkan, G. K. Miley

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Abstract

We present a detailed study of the cosmic star formation history over $90$ per cent of cosmic time ($0\lesssim z\lesssim4$), using deep, radio continuum observations that probe star formation activity independent of dust. The Low Frequency Array Two Metre Sky Survey has imaged three well-studied extragalactic fields, Elais-N1, Bo\"otes and the Lockman Hole, reaching $\sim20\,\mu\rm{Jy/beam}$ rms sensitivity at $150\,\rm{MHz}$. The availability of high-quality ancillary data from ultraviolet to far-infrared wavelengths has enabled accurate photometric redshifts and the robust separation of radio-bright AGN from their star-forming counterparts. We capitalise on this unique combination of deep, wide fields and robustly-selected star-forming galaxies to construct radio luminosity functions and derive the cosmic star formation rate density. We carefully constrain and correct for scatter in the $L_{150\,\rm{MHz}}-\rm{SFR}$ relation, which we find to be $\sim0.3\,\rm{dex}$. Our derived star formation rate density lies between previous measurements at all redshifts studied. We derive higher star formation rate densities between $z\sim0$ and $z\sim3$ than are typically inferred from short wavelength emission; at earlier times, this discrepancy is reduced. Our measurements are generally in good agreement with far-infrared and radio-based studies, with small offsets resulting from differing star formation rate calibrations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA

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