We present a sample of 34 spectroscopically confirmed BzK-selected ~1011M⊙ quiescent galaxies (pBzK) in the COSMOS field. The targets were initially observed with VIMOS on the VLT to facilitate the calibration of the photometric redshifts of massive galaxies at z ≳ 1.5. Here we describe the reduction and analysis of the data, and the spectrophotometric properties of these pBzK galaxies. In particular, using a spatially resolved median 2D spectrum, we find that the fraction of stellar populations with ages <1 Gyr is at least 3 times higher in the outer regions of the pBzK galaxies than in their cores. This results in a mild age gradient of Δage ≤ 0.4 Gyr over ~6 kpc and suggests either the occurrence of widespread rejuvenation episodes or that inside-out quenching played a role in the passivization of this galaxy population. We also report on low-level star formation rates derived from the [OII]3727 Å emission line, with SFROII ~ 3.7−4.5M⊙ yr-1. This estimate is confirmed by an independent measurement on a separate sample of similarly-selected quiescent galaxies in the COSMOS field, using stacked far-infrared data (SFRFIR ~ 2−4M⊙ yr-1). This second, photometric sample also displays significant excess at 1.4 GHz, suggestive of the presence of radio-mode AGN activity.
- galaxies: high-redshift
- galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
- galaxies: formation
- galaxies: stellar content
- galaxies: star formation