James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 4/1/2024

Insights into Galaxy Morphology and Star Formation: Unveiling Filamentary Structures around an Extreme Overdensity at z ~ 1.5 Traced by [O ii] Emitters

Example galaxy images from JWST NIRCam observations in the F150W band in the order of increasing merger statistic values. Each panel is annotated with its corresponding merger statistic value, quantifying the degree of morphological disturbance or indications of merging activity. These images exhibit a spectrum of morphological disruptions in galaxies, ranging from minor to more significant. Abstract: We explore the morphological features and star formation activities of [O ii] emitters in the COSMOS UltraDeep field at z ~ 1.5 using JWST NIRCam data from the COSMOS-Web survey and Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam. We also report the discovery of large filamentary structures traced by [O ii] emitters surrounding an extremely overdense core with a galaxy number density ~11× higher than the field average. These structures span over 50 cMpc, underscoring their large scale in the cosmic web at this epoch. After matching the stellar-mass distributions, the core galaxies show a higher frequency of disturbances (50% ± 9%) than those in the outskirts (41% ± 9%) and the field (21% ± 5%), indicative of more frequent mergers and interactions in the innermost ?1farcm5 region. Additionally, we observe that specific star formation rates are elevated in denser environments. A Kolmogorov–Smirnov test comparing the distribution of specific star formation rates of core and field galaxies yields a p-value of 0.02, suggesting an enhancement of star formation activity driven by the dense environment. Our findings underscore the environmental impact on galaxy evolution during a pivotal cosmic epoch and set the stage for further investigation with the increasing larger data from upcoming surveys.