Friday, 18 January 2008

The evolution of stellar mass and the implied star formation history

Figure 2 in arXiv:0801.1594, Wilkins et al.
Caption: The authors compile a number of measurements of the stellar mass density as a function of redshift and convert this to a star formation history. They then compare this to measurements of the instantaneous star formation history.

The plot shows the results. The dark solid line is a best fit to the star formation history inferred from the mass density history and the grey shaded areas denote the 1 and 3 sigma uncertainty regions. The various symbols are the measurements of the instantaneous star formation with different symbols denoting different methods of measuring the instantaneous SFR.

For redshifts lower than 0.7 the two methods of determining the star formation history agree quite well, but for larger redshifts there is a clear discrepancy between both methods. Suggested causes for this discrepancy include overestimation of the extinction correction and evolution of the IMF with time.

Post by Ernst Kuiper

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