We present the first measurement of the galaxy luminosity function (LF) at 1500 Å in the range 0.2 ≤ z ≤ 1.2 based on Galaxy Evolution Explorer VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey observations (̃1000 spectroscopic redshifts for galaxies with NUV ≤ 24.5) and at higher z using existing data sets. Our main results are summarized as follows: (1) Luminosity evolution is observed with ΔM* ̃ -2.0 mag between 2 = 0 and z = 1 and Δ M* ̃ -1.0 mag between z = 1 and z = 3. This confirms that the star formation activity was significantly higher in the past. (2) The LF slopes vary in the range -1.2 ≥ α ≥ -1.65, with a marginally significant hint of increase at higher z. (3) We split the sample in three rest-frame (B - 1) intervals, providing an approximate spectral type classification: Sb-Sd, Sd-Irr, and unobscured starbursts. We find that the bluest class evolves less strongly in luminosity than the two other classes. On the other hand, their number density increases sharply with z (̃15% in the local universe to ̃55% at z ̃ 1), while that of the reddest classes decreases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
GALEX is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA’s support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d’Etudes Spa-tiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. The VVDS is supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France and its Cosmology program, the Observatoire Astronomique Marseille Provence, and the Italian National Research Council.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science