Galaxy luminosity functions to z∼ 1 from DEEP2 and COMBO-17: Implications for red galaxy formation

S. M. Faber, C. N.A. Willmer, C. Wolf, D. C. Koo, B. J. Weiner, J. A. Newman, M. Im, A. L. Coil, C. Conroy, M. C. Cooper, M. Davis, D. P. Finkbeiner, B. F. Gerke, K. Gebhardt, E. J. Groth, P. Guhathakurta, J. Harker, N. Kaiser, S. Kassin, M. KleinheinrichN. P. Konidaris, R. G. Kron, L. Lin, G. Luppino, D. S. Madgwick, K. Meisenheimer, K. G. Noeske, A. C. Phillips, V. L. Sarajedini, R. P. Schiavon, L. Simard, A. S. Szalay, N. P. Vogt, R. Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

912 Scopus citations


The DEEP2 and COMBO-17 surveys are compared to study luminosity functions of red and blue galaxies to z ∼ 1. The two surveys have different methods and sensitivities, but nevertheless results agree. After z ∼ 1, M*B has dimmed by 1.2-1.3 mag for all colors of galaxies, ø* for blue galaxies has hardly changed, and ø* for red galaxies has at least doubled (our formal value is ∼0.5 dex). Luminosity density jB has fallen by 0.6 dex for blue galaxies but has remained nearly constant for red galaxies. These results imply that the number and total stellar mass of blue galaxies have been substantially constant since z ∼ 1, whereas those of red galaxies (near L*) have been significantly rising. To explain the new red galaxies, a "mixed" scenario is proposed in which star formation in blue cloud galaxies is quenched, causing them to migrate to the red sequence, where they merge further in a small number of stellar mergers. This mixed scenario matches the local boxy-disky transition for nearby ellipticals, as well as red sequence stellar population scaling laws such as the color-magnitude and Mg-σ relations (which are explained as fossil relics from blue progenitors). Blue galaxies enter the red sequence via different quenching modes, each of which peaks at a different characteristic mass and time. The red sequence therefore likely builds up in different ways at different times and masses, and the concept of a single process that is "downsizing" (or upsizing) probably does not apply. Our claim in this paper of a rise in the number of red galaxies applies to galaxies near L". Accurate counts of brighter galaxies on the steep part of the Schechter function require more accurate photometry than is currently available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-294
Number of pages30
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2007


  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Galaxy luminosity functions to z∼ 1 from DEEP2 and COMBO-17: Implications for red galaxy formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this