Volume 477, Number 3, January III 2008
|Page(s)||789 - 805|
|Published online||20 November 2007|
IMAGES. I. Strong evolution of galaxy kinematics since z = 1*
GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, University Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
3 Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007, India
4 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
5 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille-Provence, 2 place Le Verrier, 13248 Marseille, France
6 MPIA, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
7 INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125 Florence, Italy
8 Centre de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, 69561 Saint-Genis-Laval Cedex, France
9 National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100012, PR China
10 Stockholm Observatory, AlbaNova University Center, Stockholms Center for Physics, Astronomy and Biotechnology, Roslagstullsbacken 21, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
11 Department of Physics, University of Calicut, Kerala 673635, India
12 IASF-INAF - via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
Accepted: 3 November 2007
Nearly half the stellar mass of present-day spiral galaxies has formed since , and galaxy kinematics is an ideal tool to identify the underlying mechanisms responsible for the galaxy mass assembly since that epoch. Here, we present the first results of the ESO large program, “IMAGES”, which aims at obtaining robust measurements of the kinematics of distant galaxies using the multi-IFU mode of GIRAFFE on the VLT. 3D spectroscopy is essential to robustly measure the often distorted kinematics of distant galaxies (e.g., Flores et al. 2006, A&A, 455, 107). We derive the velocity fields and σ-maps of 36 galaxies at from the kinematics of the [ O ii] emission line doublet, and generate a robust technique to identify the nature of the velocity fields based on the pixels of the highest signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). Combining these observations with those of Flores et al., we have gathered a unique sample of 63 velocity fields of emission line galaxies (W0([O ii]) ≥ 15 Å) at -0.75, which are a representative subsample of the population of emission line galaxies in this redshift range, and are largely unaffected by cosmic variance. Taking into account all galaxies – with or without emission lines – in that redshift range, we find that at least 41 ± 7% of them have anomalous kinematics, i.e., they are not dynamically relaxed. This includes 26 ± 7% of distant galaxies with complex kinematics, i.e., they are not simply pressure or rotationally supported. Our result implies that galaxy kinematics are among the most rapidly evolving properties, because locally, only a few percent of the galaxies in this mass range have complex kinematics. It is well-established that galaxies undergoing a merger have complex large-scale motions and thus are likely responsible for the strong evolution of the galaxy kinematics that we observe.
Key words: galaxies: formation / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
© ESO, 2008
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