3D spectroscopy with VLT/GIRAFFE
II. Are luminous compact galaxies merger remnants?
Laboratoire Galaxies Étoiles Physique et Instrumentation, Observatoire de Paris, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France e-mail: email@example.com
2 Stockholm Observatory, AlbaNova University Center, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
3 Dept. of Astronomy and Space Physics, Box 515, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
Accepted: 3 March 2006
Luminous Compact Galaxies (LCGs) are enigmatic sources in many aspects. They can reach the luminosity of the Milky Way within a radius of only a few kpc. They also represent one of the most rapidly evolving populations of galaxies since they represent up to 1/5 of the luminous galaxies at redshift , while being almost absent in the local Universe. The measurement of their dynamics is crucial to our understanding of LCGs since this has the potential of telling us which physical process(es) drive(s) them and ultimately link them to the existing present-day galaxies. Here, we derive the 3-dimensional velocity fields and velocity dispersion (σ) maps of 17 LCGs selected from the Canada France Redshift Survey and the Hubble Deep Field South with redshifts ranging from to . We find that only 18% of them show rotational velocity fields typical of rotating disks while the others show more complex kinematics. Assuming that LCGs are not too far from equilibrium, about half of LCGs then appear to be either non-relaxed objects, or objects that are not supported by velocity dispersion alone. This supports the view that an important fraction of LCGs are probably mergers. It brings additional support to the “spiral rebuilding scenario” in which LCGs correspond to a previous or post-merger phase before the disk re-building.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: bulges
© ESO, 2006