CEERS: Spatially Resolved UV and Mid-infrared Star Formation in Galaxies at 0.2 < z < 2.5: The Picture from the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes

June 2023 • 2023ApJ...950....7S

Authors • Shen, Lu • Papovich, Casey • Yang, Guang • Matharu, Jasleen • Wang, Xin • Magnelli, Benjamin • Elbaz, David • Jogee, Shardha • Alavi, Anahita • Arrabal Haro, Pablo • Backhaus, Bren E. • Bagley, Micaela B. • Bell, Eric F. • Bisigello, Laura • Calabrò, Antonello • Cooper, M. C. • Costantin, Luca • Daddi, Emanuele • Dickinson, Mark • Finkelstein, Steven L. • Fujimoto, Seiji • Giavalisco, Mauro • Grogin, Norman A. • Guo, Yuchen • Holwerda, Benne W. • Kartaltepe, Jeyhan S. • Koekemoer, Anton M. • Kurczynski, Peter • Lucas, Ray A. • Pérez-González, Pablo G. • Pirzkal, Nor • Prichard, Laura • Rafelski, Marc • Ronayne, Kaila • Simons, Raymond C. • Sunnquist, Ben • Teplitz, Harry I. • Trump, Jonathan R. • Weiner, Benjamin J. • Windhorst, Rogier A. • Yung, L. Y. Aaron

Abstract • We present the mid-infrared (MIR) morphologies for 64 star-forming galaxies (SFGs) at 0.2 < z < 2.5 with stellar mass M * > 109 M using James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) observations from the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science survey. The MIRI bands span the MIR (7.7-21 μm), enabling us to measure the effective radii (R eff) and Sérsic indexes of these SFGs at rest-frame 6.2 and 7.7 μm, which contains strong emission from Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features, a well-established tracer of star formation in galaxies. We define a "PAH band" as the MIRI bandpass that contains these features at the redshift of the galaxy. We then compare the galaxy morphologies in the PAH bands to those in the rest-frame near-ultraviolet (NUV) using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS)/F435W or ACS/F606W and optical/near-IR using HST WFC3/F160W imaging from UVCANDELS and CANDELS. The R eff of galaxies in the PAH band are slightly smaller (~10%) than those in F160W for galaxies with M * ≳ 109.5 M at z ≤ 1.2, but the PAH band and F160W have similar fractions of light within 1 kpc. In contrast, the R eff of galaxies in the NUV band are larger, with lower fractions of light within 1 kpc compared to F160W for galaxies at z ≤ 1.2. Using the MIRI data to estimate the SFRIR surface density, we find that the correlation between the SFRIR surface density and stellar mass has a steeper slope than that of the SFRUV surface density and stellar mass, suggesting more massive galaxies having increasing amounts of obscured fraction of star formation in their inner regions. This paper demonstrates how the high-angular resolution data from JWST/MIRI can reveal new information about the morphology of obscured star formation.


IPAC Authors


Anahita Alavi

Assistant Scientist


Harry Teplitz

Senior Scientist