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      The Size Evolution of Passive Galaxies: Observations from the Wide Field Camera 3 Early Release Science Program

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          Abstract

          We present results on the size evolution of passively evolving galaxies at 1<z<2 drawn from the Wide Field Camera 3 Early Release Science program. Our sample was constructed using an analog to the passive BzK selection criterion, which isolates galaxies with little or no on-going star formation at z>1.5. We identify 30 galaxies in ~40 square arcmin to H<25 mag. We supplement spectroscopic redshifts from the literature with photometric redshifts determined from the 15-band photometry from 0.22-8 micron. We determine effective radii from Sersic profile fits to the H-band image using an empirical PSF. We find that size evolution is a strong function of stellar mass, with the most massive (M* ~ 10^11 Msol) galaxies undergoing the most rapid evolution from z~2 to the present. Parameterizing the size evolution as (1+z)^{-alpha}, we find a tentative scaling between alpha and stellar mass of alpha ~ -1.8+1.4 log(M*/10^9 Msol). We briefly discuss the implications of this result for our understanding of the dynamical evolution of the red galaxies.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          08 July 2010
          Article
          10.1088/0004-637X/749/1/53
          1007.1460

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

          Custom metadata
          11 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables. Submitted to ApJ
          astro-ph.CO

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