The Size Evolution of Star-forming Galaxies since z similar to 7 Using ZFOURGE Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. For the first time, we present the size evolution of a mass-complete (log(M /M o) > 10) sample of star-forming galaxies over redshifts z = 1-7, selected from the FourStar Galaxy Evolution Survey. Observed H-band sizes are measured from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/F160W imaging. Distributions of individual galaxy masses and sizes illustrate that a clear mass-size relation exists up to z 7. At z 7, we find that the average galaxy size from the mass-size relation is more compact at a fixed mass of log(M /M o) = 10.1, with kpc, than at lower redshifts. This is consistent with our results from stacking the same CANDELS HST/F160W imaging, when we correct for galaxy position angle alignment. We find that the size evolution of star-forming galaxies is well fit by a power law of the form kpc, which is consistent with previous works for normal star-formers at 1 < z < 4. In order to compare our slope with those derived Lyman break galaxy studies, we correct for different IMFs and methodology and find a slope of -0.97 0.02, which is shallower than that reported for the evolution of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) at z > 4 (). Therefore, we conclude the LBGs likely represent a subset of highly star-forming galaxies that exhibit rapid size growth at z > 4.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 5.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Allen, R. J., Kacprzak, G. G., Glazebrook, K., Labbe, I., Tran, K., Spitler, L. R., ... van Dokkum, P.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Allen, Rebecca J||Kacprzak, Glenn G||Glazebrook, Karl||Labbe, Ivo||Tran, Kim-Vy H||Spitler, Lee R||Cowley, Michael||Nanayakkara, Themiya||Papovich, Casey||Quadri, Ryan||Straatman, Caroline MS||Tilvi, Vithal||van Dokkum, Pieter

publication date

  • January 2017