Stellar masses and star formation rates of lensed, dusty, star-forming galaxies from the SPT survey

Jingzhe Ma, Anthony H. Gonzalez, J. S. Spilker, M. Strandet, M. L.N. Ashby, M. Aravena, M. B�thermin, M. S. Bothwell, C. De Breuck, M. Brodwin, S. C. Chapman, C. D. Fassnacht, T. R. Greve, B. Gullberg, Y. Hezaveh, M. Malkan, D. P. Marrone, B. R. Saliwanchik, J. D. Vieira, A. WeissN. Welikala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To understand cosmic mass assembly in the universe at early epochs, we primarily rely on measurements of the stellar masses and star formation rates (SFRs) of distant galaxies. In this paper, we present stellar masses and SFRs of six high-redshift (2.8 ≤ z ≤ 5.7) dusty, star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) that are strongly gravitationally lensed by foreground galaxies. These sources were first discovered by the South Pole Telescope (SPT) at millimeter wavelengths and all have spectroscopic redshifts and robust lens models derived from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations. We have conducted follow-up observations to obtain multi-wavelength imaging data using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Spitzer, Herschel, and the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment. We use the high-resolution HST/Wide Field Camera 3 images to disentangle the background source from the foreground lens in Spitzer/IRAC data. The detections and upper limits provide important constraints on the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for these DSFGs, yielding stellar masses, IR luminosities, and SFRs. The SED fits of six SPT sources show that the intrinsic stellar masses span a range more than one order of magnitude with a median value ∼5 ×10 10 M o. The intrinsic IR luminosities range from 4 × 10 12 L o to 4 × 10 13 L o. They all have prodigious intrinsic SFRs of 510-4800 M o yr -1. Compared to the star-forming main sequence (MS), these six DSFGs have specific SFRs that all lie above the MS, including two galaxies that are a factor of 10 higher than the MS. Our results suggest that we are witnessing ongoing strong starburst events that may be driven by major mergers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015


  • galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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