The spatially resolved star formation history of CALIFA galaxies. Cosmic time scales

Publication date: 
Main author: 
García-Benito, R.
IAA authors: 
García-Benito, R.;González Delgado, R. M.;Pérez, E.;Cortijo-Ferrero, C.;López Fernández, R.
García-Benito, R.;González Delgado, R. M.;Pérez, E.;Cid Fernandes, R.;Cortijo-Ferrero, C.;López Fernández, R.;de Amorim, A. L.;Lacerda, E. A. D.;Vale Asari, N.;Sánchez, S. F.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publication type: 
This paper presents the mass assembly time scales of nearby galaxies observed by CALIFA at the 3.5 m telescope in Calar Alto. We apply the fossil record method of the stellar populations to the complete sample of the 3rd CALIFA data release, with a total of 661 galaxies, covering stellar masses from 10<SUP>8.4</SUP> to 10<SUP>12</SUP>M<SUB>☉</SUB> and a wide range of Hubble types. We apply spectral synthesis techniques to the datacubes and process the results to produce the mass growth time scales and mass weighted ages, from which we obtain temporal and spatially resolved information in seven bins of galaxy morphology (E, S0, Sa, Sb, Sc, and Sd) and six bins of stellar mass and stellar mass surface density. We use three different tracers of the spatially resolved star formation history (mass assembly curves, ratio of half mass to half light radii, and mass-weighted age gradients) to test if galaxies grow inside-out, and its dependence with galaxy stellar mass, stellar mass surface density, and morphology. Our main results are as follows: (a) the innermost regions of galaxies assemble their mass at an earlier time than regions located in the outer parts; this happens at any given stellar mass (M<SUB>⋆</SUB>), stellar mass surface density (Σ<SUB>⋆</SUB>), or Hubble type, including the lowest mass systems in our sample. (b) Galaxies present a significant diversity in their characteristic formation epochs for lower-mass systems. This diversity shows a strong dependence of the mass assembly time scales on Σ<SUB>⋆</SUB> and Hubble type in the lower-mass range (10<SUP>8.4</SUP> to 10<SUP>10.4</SUP>), but a very mild dependence in higher-mass bins. (c) The lowest half mass radius (HMR) to half light radius (HLR) ratio is found for galaxies between 10<SUP>10.4</SUP> and 10<SUP>11.1</SUP>M<SUB>☉</SUB>, where galaxies are 25% smaller in mass than in light. Low-mass galaxies show the largest ratio with HMR/HLR 0.89. Sb and Sbc galaxies present the lowest HMR/HLR ratio (0.74). The ratio HMR/HLR is always, on average, below 1, indicating that galaxies grow faster in mass than in light. (d) All galaxies show negative ⟨log age⟩ <SUB>M</SUB> gradients in the inner 1 HLR. The profile flattens (slope less negative) with increasing values of Σ<SUB>⋆</SUB>. There is no significant dependence on M<SUB>⋆</SUB> within a particular Σ<SUB>⋆</SUB> bin, except for the lowest bin, where the gradients becomes steeper. (e) Downsizing is spatially preserved as a function of M<SUB>⋆</SUB> and Σ<SUB>⋆</SUB>, but it is broken for E and SO where the outer parts are assembled in later epochs than Sa galaxies. These results suggest that independently of their stellar mass, stellar mass surface density, and morphology, galaxies form inside-out on average.
ADS Bibcode: 
techniques: spectroscopic;galaxies: general;galaxies: formation;galaxies: evolution;galaxies: star formation;surveys;Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies