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The Evolution of Post-starburst Galaxies from z ∼1 to the Present

Author(s): Pattarakijwanich, Petchara; Strauss, Michael A; Ho, Shirley; Ross, Nicholas P

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Abstract: Post-starburst galaxies are in the transitional stage between blue, star-forming galaxies and red, quiescent galaxies and therefore hold important clues for our understanding of galaxy evolution. In this paper, we systematically searched for and identified a large sample of post-starburst galaxies from the spectroscopic data set of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)Data Release 9. In total, we found more than 6000 objects with redshifts between z∼0.05 and z∼1.3, making this the largest sample of post-starburst galaxies in the literature. We calculated the luminosity function of the post-starburst galaxies using two uniformly selected subsamples: the SDSS main galaxy sample and the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey CMASS sample. The luminosity functions are reasonably fit by half-Gaussian functions. The peak magnitudes shift as a function of redshift from M∼−23.5 at z∼0.8 to M∼−20.3 at z∼0.1. This is consistent with the downsizing trend, whereby more massive galaxies form earlier than low-mass galaxies. We compared the mass of the post-starburst stellar population found in our sample to the decline of the global star formation rate and found that only a small amount (∼1%)of all star formation quenching in the redshift range z=0.2–0.7 results in post-starburst galaxies in the luminosity range our sample is sensitive to. Therefore, luminous post-starburst galaxies are not the place where most of the decline in the star formation rate of the universe is happening.
Publication Date: 2-Dec-2016
Electronic Publication Date: 10-Dec-2016
Citation: Pattarakijwanich, Petchara, Strauss, Michael A, Ho, Shirley, Ross, Nicholas P. (2016). The Evolution of Post-starburst Galaxies from z \raisebox-0.5ex 1 to the Present. \apj, 833 (19 - 19. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/833/1/19
DOI: doi:10.3847/0004-637X/833/1/19
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Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Astrophysical Journal
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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