Constraints on the evolutionary mechanisms of massive galaxies since z ∼ 1 from their velocity dispersions



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Peralta de Arriba, L. and Balcells, M. and Trujillo, I. and Falcón Barroso, J. and Tapia, T. and Cardiel López, Nicolás and Gallego Maestro, Jesús and Guzmán, R. and Hempel, A. and Martín Navarro, I. and Pérez González, Pablo Guillermo and Sánchez Blázquez, P. (2015) Constraints on the evolutionary mechanisms of massive galaxies since z ∼ 1 from their velocity dispersions. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453 (1). pp. 704-720. ISSN 0035-8711

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Several authors have reported that the dynamical masses of massive compact galaxies (M_⋆ ≳ 10^11 M_⊙, r_e ∼ 1 kpc), computed as M_dyn=5.0 σ_e^2r_e/GMdyn=5.0 σe2re/G, are lower than their stellar masses M_⋆. In a previous study from our group, the discrepancy is interpreted as a breakdown of the assumption of homology that underlie the M_dyn determinations. Here, we present new spectroscopy of six redshift z ≈ 1.0 massive compact ellipticals from the Extended Groth Strip, obtained with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias. We obtain velocity dispersions in the range 161–340 km s^−1. As found by previous studies of massive compact galaxies, our velocity dispersions are lower than the virial expectation, and all of our galaxies show M_dyn < M_⋆ (assuming a Salpeter initial mass function). Adding data from the literature, we build a sample covering a range of stellar masses and compactness in a narrow redshift range z ≈ 1.0. This allows us to exclude systematic effects on the data and evolutionary effects on the galaxy population, which could have affected previous studies. We confirm that mass discrepancy scales with galaxy compactness. We use the stellar mass plane (M_⋆, σ_e, r_e) populated by our sample to constrain a generic evolution mechanism. We find that the simulations of the growth of massive ellipticals due to mergers agree with our constraints and discard the assumption of homology.

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© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. The authors are grateful to the referee for his/her insightful and constructive review. The authors also thank J. Martínez Manso, G. Barro, A. J. Cenarro, L. Domínguez Palmero, M. Fernández Lorenzo, C. López Sanjuan, M. Prieto, M. Cappellari, A. Cimatti, L. Ciotti, C. J. Conselice and the Traces of galaxy formation group ( for their collaboration during the development of this paper. LPdA was partially supported by the FPI Program by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. JF-B acknowledges the support from the FP7 Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission, via the Initial Training Network DAGAL under REA grant agreement number 289313. This work has been supported by the Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under the grants AYA2009-11137, AYA2012-30717, AYA2012-31277 and AYA2013-48226-C3-1-P. Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), in the island of La Palma. This work has made use of the Rainbow Cosmological Surveys data base, which is operated by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), partnered with the University of California Observatories at Santa Cruz (UCO/Lick, UCSC). Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/NASA), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA) and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA). This research made use of ASTROPY, a community-developed core PYTHON package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration 2013). This research made use of APLPY, an open-source plotting package for PYTHON hosted at

Uncontrolled Keywords:Compact quiescent galaxies; Star-forming galaxies; Digital sky survey; Fundamental plane; Size evolution; Stellar population; Elliptic galaxies; Systematic variation; Spitzer/Irac sources; Scaling relations
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:35062
Deposited On:19 Jan 2016 14:21
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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