2022 journal article

The COS Legacy Archive Spectroscopy Survey (CLASSY) Treasury Atlas


By: D. Berg, B. James, T. King, M. McDonald, Z. Chen, J. Chisholm, T. Heckman, C. Martin ...

Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 15, 2022

Abstract Far-ultraviolet (FUV; ∼1200–2000 Å) spectra are fundamental to our understanding of star-forming galaxies, providing a unique window on massive stellar populations, chemical evolution, feedback processes, and reionization. The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will soon usher in a new era, pushing the UV spectroscopic frontier to higher redshifts than ever before; however, its success hinges on a comprehensive understanding of the massive star populations and gas conditions that power the observed UV spectral features. This requires a level of detail that is only possible with a combination of ample wavelength coverage, signal-to-noise, spectral-resolution, and sample diversity that has not yet been achieved by any FUV spectral database. We present the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph Legacy Spectroscopic Survey (CLASSY) treasury and its first high-level science product, the CLASSY atlas. CLASSY builds on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archive to construct the first high-quality (S/N 1500 Å ≳ 5/resel), high-resolution ( R ∼ 15,000) FUV spectral database of 45 nearby (0.002 < z < 0.182) star-forming galaxies. The CLASSY atlas, available to the public via the CLASSY website, is the result of optimally extracting and coadding 170 archival+new spectra from 312 orbits of HST observations. The CLASSY sample covers a broad range of properties including stellar mass (6.2 < log M ⋆ ( M ⊙ ) < 10.1), star formation rate (−2.0 < log SFR ( M ⊙ yr −1 ) < +1.6), direct gas-phase metallicity (7.0 < 12+log(O/H) < 8.8), ionization (0.5 < O 32 < 38.0), reddening (0.02 < E ( B − V ) < 0.67), and nebular density (10 < n e (cm −3 ) < 1120). CLASSY is biased to UV-bright star-forming galaxies, resulting in a sample that is consistent with the z ∼ 0 mass–metallicity relationship, but is offset to higher star formation rates by roughly 2 dex, similar to z ≳ 2 galaxies. This unique set of properties makes the CLASSY atlas the benchmark training set for star-forming galaxies across cosmic time.