The specific star formation rate function at different mass scales and quenching: A comparison between cosmological models and SDSS

Antonios Katsianis, Haojie Xu, Xiaohu Yang, Yu Luo, Weiguang Cui, Romeel Davé, Claudia Del P. Lagos, Xianzhong Zheng, Ping Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the eddington bias corrected specific star formation rate function (sSFRF) at different stellar mass scales from a sub-sample of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release DR7 (SDSS), which is considered complete both in terms of stellar mass (M∗) and star formation rate (SFR). The above enable us to study qualitatively and quantitatively quenching, the distribution of passive/star-forming galaxies and perform comparisons with the predictions from state-of-the-art cosmological models, within the same M∗ and SFR limits. We find that at the low-mass end (M∗ = 109.5-1010 M⊙) the sSFRF is mostly dominated by star-forming objects. However, moving to the two more massive bins (M∗= 1010-1010.5 M⊙ and M∗ = 1010.5-1011 M⊙) a bi-modality with two peaks emerges. One peak represents the star-forming population, while the other describes a rising passive population. The bi-modal form of the sSFRFs is not reproduced by a range of cosmological simulations (e.g. Illustris, EAGLE, Mufasa, and IllustrisTNG) which instead generate mostly the star-forming population, while a bi-modality emerges in others (e.g. L-Galaxies, Shark, and Simba). Our findings reflect the need for the employed quenching schemes in state-of-the-art models to be reconsidered, involving prescriptions that allow 'quenched galaxies' to retain a small level of SF activity (sSFR = 10-11-10-12 yr-1) and generate an adequate passive population/bi-modality even at intermediate masses (M∗ = 1010-1010.5 M⊙).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2036-2048
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume500
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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