We present a study of the morphological nature of redshift z ∼ 0.7 star-forming galaxies using a combination of HSTACS, GALEX, and ground-based images of the COSMOS field. Our sample consists of 8146 galaxies, 5777 of which are detected in the GALEXnear-ultraviolet band (2310 Åor ∼ 1360 Årest frame) down to a limiting magnitude of 25.5 (AB), and all of which have a brightness of F814W(HST) < 23 mag and photometric redshifts in the range 0.55 < z < 0.8. We make use of the UV to estimate star formation rates, correcting for the effect of dust using the UV slope, and of the ground-based multiband data to calculate masses. For all galaxies in our sample, we compute, from the ACS F814W images, their concentration (C), asymmetry (A), and dumpiness (S), as well as their Gini coefficient (G) and the second moment of the brightest 20% of their light (M 20). We observe a bimodality in the galaxy population in asymmetry and in dumpiness, although the separation is most evident when either of those parameters is combined with a concentration-like parameter (C, G, or M 20). We further show that this morphological bimodality has a strong correspondence with the FUV-g color bimodality and conclude that UV-optical color predominantly evolves concurrently with morphology. We observe many of the most star-forming galaxies to have morphologies approaching that of early-type galaxies, and we interpret this as evidence that strong starburst events are linked to bulge growth and constitute a process through which galaxies can be brought from the blue to the red sequence while simultaneously modifying their morphology accordingly. We conclude that the red sequence has continued growing at z ≲ 0.7. We also observe z ∼ 0.7 galaxies to have physical properties similar to that of local galaxies, except for higher star formation rates. Whence we infer that the dimming of star-forming galaxies is responsible for most of the evolution in star formation rate density since that redshift, although our data are also consistent with a mild number evolution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science