The opacity of galactic disks at z ∼ 0.7

M. T. Sargent, C. M. Carollo, P. Kampczyk, S. J. Lilly, C. Scarlata, P. Capak, O. Ilbert, A. M. Koekemoer, J. P. Kneib, A. Leauthaud, R. Massey, P. A. Oesch, J. Rhodes, E. Schinnerer, N. Scoville, Y. Taniguchi

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9 Scopus citations


We compare the surface brightness-inclination relation for a sample of COSMOS pure disk galaxies at z 0.7 with an artificially redshifted sample of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) disks well matched to the COSMOS sample in terms of rest-frame photometry and morphology, as well as their selection and analysis. The offset between the average surface brightness of face-on and edge-on disks in the redshifted SDSS sample matches that predicted by measurements of the optical depth of galactic disks in the nearby universe. In contrast, large disks at z 0.7 have a virtually flat surface brightness-inclination relation, suggesting that they are more opaque than their local counterparts. This could be explained by either an increased amount of optically thick material in disks at higher redshift or a different spatial distribution of the dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L113-L117
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Dust, extinction
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Surveys


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