EDP Sciences
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Volume 420, Number 3, June IV 2004
Page(s) L31 - L34
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040160

A&A 420, L31-L34 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040160


GIRAFFE multiple integral field units at VLT: A unique tool to recover velocity fields of distant galaxies

H. Flores1, M. Puech1, F. Hammer1, O. Garrido1 and O. Hernandez2, 3

1  GEPI, Observatoire de Paris Meudon, 92190 Meudon, France
2  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique Expérimentale et Observatoire du Mont Mégantic, Université de Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7, Canada

(Received 4 March 2004 / Accepted 3 May 2004)

The GIRAFFE spectrograph is unique in providing the integral field spectroscopy of fifteen distant galaxies at the same time. It has been successfully implemented at the second VLT unit within the FLAMES facility. We present GIRAFFE observations acquired during the Guaranteed Time Observation of the Paris Observatory, using total exposure times ranging from 6 to 12 h. The reduced 3D cube of each galaxy has been deconvolved using our new package DisGal3D. This software has been written using the only assumption that UV light traces the emission line regions. The comparison between GIRAFFE spectra and HST imagery allows us to recover details on velocity fields as small as 0.3-0.4 arcsec. It has been successfully tested using Fabry Perot observations of nearby galaxies purposely redshifted to large distances. We present here preliminary results for three distant galaxies at 0.45< z < 0.65, whose velocity fields have been derived with exquisite spectral ( $R=10\,000$) and spatial resolutions. Observed velocity fields range from disturbed fields expected in major merger events to those of regular spiral with minor perturbations. For the latter, one could accurately derive the dynamical major axis and the maximal rotational velocity. We conclude that dynamical properties of a large number of distant galaxies can be routinely derived at VLT. This opens a new avenue towards the understanding of the galaxy formation and evolution during the last 8 Gyr.

Key words: galaxy formation -- velocity field -- star formation rate -- 3D spectroscopy

Offprint request: H. Flores, hector.flores@obspm.fr

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