Constraints on the relationship between stellar mass and halo mass at low and high redshift

Benjamin P. Moster, Rachel S. Somerville, Christian Maulbetsch, Frank C. Van Den Bosch, Andrea V. MacCiò, Thorsten Naab, Ludwig Oser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use a statistical approach to determine the relationship between the stellar masses of galaxies and the masses of the dark matter halos in which they reside. We obtain a parameterized stellar-to-halo mass (SHM) relation by populating halos and subhalos in an N-body simulation with galaxies and requiring that the observed stellar mass function be reproduced. We find good agreement with constraints from galaxy-galaxy lensing and predictions of semi-analytic models. Using this mapping, and the positions of the halos and subhalos obtained from the simulation, we find that our model predictions for the galaxy two-point correlation function (CF) as a function of stellar mass are in excellent agreement with the observed clustering properties in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey at z = 0. We show that the clustering data do not provide additional strong constraints on the SHM function and conclude that our model can therefore predict clustering as a function of stellar mass. We compute the conditional mass function, which yields the average number of galaxies with stellar masses in the range m ± dm/2 that reside in a halo of mass M. We study the redshift dependence of the SHM relation and show that, for low-mass halos, the SHM ratio is lower at higher redshift. The derived SHM relation is used to predict the stellar mass dependent galaxy CF and bias at high redshift. Our model predicts that not only are massive galaxies more biased than low-mass galaxies at all redshifts, but also the bias increases more rapidly with increasing redshift for massive galaxies than for low-mass ones. We present convenient fitting functions for the SHM relation as a function of redshift, the conditional mass function, and the bias as a function of stellar mass and redshift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-923
Number of pages21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: halos
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: statistics
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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