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Euclid: the selection of quiescent and star-forming galaxies using observed colours

Bisigello, L; Kuchner, U; Conselice, CJ; Andreon, S; Bolzonella, M; Duc, P-A; Garilli, B; ... Zoubian, J; + view all (2020) Euclid: the selection of quiescent and star-forming galaxies using observed colours. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , 494 (2) pp. 2337-2354. 10.1093/mnras/staa885. Green open access

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Abstract

The Euclid mission will observe well over a billion galaxies out to z ∼ 6 and beyond. This will offer an unrivalled opportunity to investigate several key questions for understanding galaxy formation and evolution. The first step for many of these studies will be the selection of a sample of quiescent and star-forming galaxies, as is often done in the literature by using well-known colour techniques such as the ‘UVJ’ diagram. However, given the limited number of filters available for the Euclid telescope, the recovery of such rest-frame colours will be challenging. We therefore investigate the use of observed Euclid colours, on their own and together with ground-based u-band observations, for selecting quiescent and star-forming galaxies. The most efficient colour combination, among the ones tested in this work, consists of the (u − VIS) and (VIS − J) colours. We find that this combination allows users to select a sample of quiescent galaxies complete to above ∼70 per cent and with less than 15 per cent contamination at redshifts in the range 0.75 < z < 1. For galaxies at high-z or without the u-band complementary observations, the (VIS − Y) and (J − H) colours represent a valid alternative, with >65 per cent completeness level and contamination below 20 per cent at 1 < z < 2 for finding quiescent galaxies. In comparison, the sample of quiescent galaxies selected with the traditional UVJ technique is only ∼20 per cent complete at z < 3, when recovering the rest-frame colours using mock Euclid observations. This shows that our new methodology is the most suitable one when only Euclid bands, along with u-band imaging, are available.

Type: Article
Title: Euclid: the selection of quiescent and star-forming galaxies using observed colours
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa885
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa885
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: galaxies: evolution – galaxies: general – galaxies: photometry.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104712
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