The rest-frame optical luminosity density, color, and stellar mass density of the universe from z = 0 to z = 3

Gregory Rudnick, Hans Walter Rix, Marijn Franx, Ivo Labbé, Michael Blanton, Emanuele Daddi, Natascha M. Förster Schreiber, Alan Moorwood, Huub Röttgering, Ignacio Trujillo, Arjen Van de Wel, Paul Van der Werf, Pieter G. Van Dokkum, Lottie Van Starkenburg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present the evolution of the rest-frame optical luminosity density jλ.rest, the integrated rest-frame optical color, and the stellar mass density, ρ*, for a sample of Ks band-selected galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field-South (HDF-S). We derived j λ.rest in the rest-frame U, B, and V bands and found that jλ.rest increases by a factor of 1.9 ± 0.4, 2.9 ± 0.6, and 4.9 ± 1.0 in the V, B, and U rest-frame bands, respectively, between redshifts of 0.1 and 3.2. We derived the luminosity-weighted mean cosmic (U-B)rest and (B- V) rest colors as a function of redshift. The colors bluen almost monotonically with increasing redshift; at z = 0.1, the (U-B)rest and (B- V)rest colors are 0.16 and 0.75, respectively, while at z = 2.8 they are -0.39 and 0.29, respectively. We derived the luminosity-weighted mean M / LVz.ast;, using the correlation between (U- V) rest and log M / LVz.ast; that exists for a range in smooth star formation histories (SFHs) and moderate extinctions. We have shown that the mean of individual M/LVz.ast; estimates can overpredict the true value by ∼70%, while our method over-predicts the true value by only ∼35%. We find that the universe at z ∼ 3 had ∼10 times lower stellar mass density than it does today in galaxies with LVrest > 1.4 × 1010 h70-2 L⊙. Half of the stellar mass of the universe was formed by z ∼ 1-1.5. The rate of increase in ρ* with decreasing redshift is similar to but above that for independent estimates from the HDF-N, but it is slightly less than that predicted by the integral of the SFR(z) curve.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)847-864
    Number of pages18
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2 I
    StatePublished - Dec 20 2003


    • Galaxies: evolution
    • Galaxies: formation
    • Galaxies: high-redshift
    • Galaxies: stellar content

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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