Smooth(ER) stellar mass maps in CANDELS: Constraints on the longevity of clumps in high-redshift star-forming galaxies

Stijn Wuyts, Natascha M. Förster Schreiber, Reinhard Genzel, Yicheng Guo, Guillermo Barro, Eric F. Bell, Avishai Dekel, Sandra M. Faber, Henry C. Ferguson, Mauro Giavalisco, Norman A. Grogin, Nimish P. Hathi, Kuang Han Huang, Dale D. Kocevski, Anton M. Koekemoer, David C. Koo, Jennifer Lotz, Dieter Lutz, Elizabeth McGrath, Jeffrey A. NewmanDavid Rosario, Amelie Saintonge, Linda J. Tacconi, Benjamin J. Weiner, Arjen Van Der Wel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


We perform a detailed analysis of the resolved colors and stellar populations of a complete sample of 323 star-forming galaxies (SFGs) at 0.5 < z < 1.5 and 326 SFGs at 1.5 < z < 2.5 in the ERS and CANDELS-Deep region of GOODS-South. Galaxies were selected to be more massive than 10 10 M and have specific star formation rates (SFRs) above 1/t H . We model the seven-band optical ACS + near-IR WFC3 spectral energy distributions of individual bins of pixels, accounting simultaneously for the galaxy-integrated photometric constraints available over a longer wavelength range. We analyze variations in rest-frame color, stellar surface mass density, age, and extinction as a function of galactocentric radius and local surface brightness/density, and measure structural parameters on luminosity and stellar mass maps. We find evidence for redder colors, older stellar ages, and increased dust extinction in the nuclei of galaxies. Big star-forming clumps seen in star formation tracers are less prominent or even invisible in the inferred stellar mass distributions. Off-center clumps contribute up to 20% to the integrated SFR, but only 7% or less to the integrated mass of all massive SFGs at z 1 and z 2, with the fractional contributions being a decreasing function of wavelength used to select the clumps. The stellar mass profiles tend to have smaller sizes and M20 coefficients, and higher concentration and Gini coefficients than the light distribution. Our results are consistent with an inside-out disk growth scenario with brief (100-200Myr) episodic local enhancements in star formation superposed on the underlying disk. Alternatively, the young ages of off-center clumps may signal inward clump migration, provided this happens efficiently on the order of an orbital timescale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2012


  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: stellar content
  • galaxies: structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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