We present the main sequence for all galaxies and star-forming galaxies for a sample of 28 469 massive (M∗ ≥ 1011 M⊙) galaxies at cosmic noon (1.5 < z < 3.0), uniformly selected from a 17.5 deg2 area (0.33 Gpc3 comoving volume at these redshifts). Our large sample allows for a novel approach to investigating the galaxy main sequence that has not been accessible to previous studies. We measure the main sequence in small mass bins in the SFR-M∗ plane without assuming a functional form for the main sequence. With a large sample of galaxies in each mass bin, we isolate star-forming galaxies by locating the transition between the star-forming and green valley populations in the SFR-M∗ plane. This approach eliminates the need for arbitrarily defined fixed cutoffs when isolating the star-forming galaxy population, which often biases measurements of the scatter around the star-forming galaxy main sequence. We find that the main sequence for all galaxies becomes increasingly flat towards present day at the high-mass end, while the star-forming galaxy main sequence does not. We attribute this difference to the increasing fraction of the collective green valley and quiescent galaxy population from z = 3.0 to z = 1.5. Additionally, we measure the total scatter around the star-forming galaxy main sequence and find that it is ~0.5-1.0 dex with little evolution as a function of mass or redshift. We discuss the implications that these results have for pinpointing the physical processes driving massive galaxy evolution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science