MASSIV: Mass Assembly Survey with SINFONI in VVDS
1 Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), CNRS, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2 IRAP, Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, Toulouse, France
3 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Université d’Aix-Marseille & CNRS, UMR7326, 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5 IASF – INAF, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
6 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str.2, 85748 Garching b. München, Germany
7 Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU/SAp, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Received: 15 July 2011
Accepted: 13 January 2012
Context. Processes driving mass assembly are expected to evolve on different timescales along cosmic time. A transition might happen around z ~ 1 as the cosmic star formation rate starts its decrease.
Aims. We aim to identify the dynamical nature of galaxies in a representative sample to be able to infer and compare the mass assembly mechanisms across cosmic time.
Methods. We present an analysis of the kinematics properties of 50 galaxies with redshifts 0.9 < z < 1.6 from the MASSIV sample observed with SINFONI/VLT with a mass range from 4.5 × 109 M⊙ to 1.7 × 1011 M⊙ and a star formation rate from 6 M⊙ yr-1 to 300 M⊙ yr-1. This is the largest sample with 2D kinematics in this redshift range. We provide a classification based on kinematics as well as on close galaxy environment.
Results. We find that a significant fraction of galaxies in our sample (29%) experience merging or have close companions that may be gravitationally linked. This places a lower limit on the fraction of interacting galaxies because ongoing mergers are probably also present but harder to identify. We find that at least 44% of the galaxies in our sample display ordered rotation, whereas at least 35% are non-rotating objects. All rotators except one are compatible with rotation-dominated (Vmax/σ > 1) systems. Non-rotating objects are mainly small objects (Re < 4 kpc). They show an anti-correlation of their velocity dispersion and their effective radius. These low-mass objects (log Mstar < 10.5) may be ongoing mergers in a transient state, galaxies with only one unresolved star-forming region, galaxies with an unstable gaseous phase or, less probably, spheroids. Combining our sample with other 3D-spectroscopy samples, we find that the local velocity dispersion of the ionized gas component decreases continuously from z ~ 3 to z = 0. The proportion of disks also seems to be increasing in star-forming galaxies when the redshift decreases. The number of interacting galaxies seems to be at a maximum at z ~ 1.2.
Conclusions. These results draw a picture in which cold gas accretion may still be efficient at z ~ 1.2 but in which mergers may play a much more significant role at z ~ 1.2 than at higher redshift. From a dynamical point of view, the redshift range 1 < z < 2 therefore appears as a transition period in the galaxy mass assembly process⋆⋆⋆⋆.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: high-redshift
Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope, Paranal, Chile, as part of the Programs 179.A-0823, 177.A-0837, 78.A-0177, 75.A-0318, and 70.A-9007.
Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS.
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
All the data published in this paper are publicly available at the time of the publication following this link: http://cosmosdb.lambrate.inaf.it/VVDS-SINFONI.
© ESO, 2012