Measuring size evolution of distant, faint galaxies in the radio regime
Journal article, 2018
We measure the evolution of sizes for star-forming galaxies as seen in 1.4 GHz continuum radio for z = 0-3. The measurements are based on combined VLA+MERLIN data of the Hubble Deep Field, and using a uv-stacking algorithm combined with model fitting to estimate the average sizes of galaxies. A sample of similar to 1000 star-forming galaxies is selected from optical and near-infrared catalogues, with stellar masses Me-circle dot approximate to 10(10)-10(11) M-circle dot and photometric redshifts 0-3. The median sizes are parametrized for stellar mass M-* = 5 x 10(10) M-circle dot as R-e = A x (H(z)/H(1.5))(alpha z). We find that the median radio sizes evolve towards larger sizes at later times with alpha(z) = 1.1 +/- 0.6, and A (the median size at z approximate to 1.5) is found to be 0 ''.26 +/- 0 ''.07 or 2.3 +/- 0.6 kpc. The measured radio sizes are typically a factor of 2 smaller than those measure in the optical, and are also smaller than the typical H alpha sizes in the literature. This indicates that star formation, as traced by the radio continuum, is typically concentrated towards the centre of galaxies, for the sampled redshift range. Furthermore, the discrepancy of measured sizes from different tracers of star formation, indicates the need for models of size evolution to adopt a multiwavelength approach in the measurement of the sizes star-forming regions.
radio continuum: galaxies