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Angular momentum evolution of galaxies over the past 10 Gyr: a MUSE and KMOS dynamical survey of 400 star-forming galaxies from z = 0.3 to 1.7

Swinbank, M.; Harrison, C.; Trayford, J.; Schaller, M.; Smail, I.; Schaye, J.; Theuns, T.; Smit, R.; Alexander, D.; Bacon, R.; Bower, R.; Contini, T.; Crain, R.; de Breuck, C.; Decarli, R.; Epinat, B.; Fumagalli, M.; Furlong, M.; Galametz, A.; Johnson, H.L.; Lagos, C.; Richard, J.; Vernet, J.; Sharples, R.; Sobral, D.; Stott, J.P.

Angular momentum evolution of galaxies over the past 10 Gyr: a MUSE and KMOS dynamical survey of 400 star-forming galaxies from z = 0.3 to 1.7 Thumbnail


Authors

C. Harrison

J. Trayford

M. Schaller

J. Schaye

R. Smit

R. Bacon

R. Bower

T. Contini

R. Crain

C. de Breuck

R. Decarli

B. Epinat

M. Furlong

A. Galametz

H.L. Johnson

C. Lagos

J. Richard

J. Vernet

D. Sobral

J.P. Stott



Abstract

We present a MUSE and KMOS dynamical study 405 star-forming galaxies at redshift z = 0.28–1.65 (median redshift z¯= 0.84). Our sample is representative of the star-forming “main-sequence”, with star-formation rates of SFR = 0.1–30M⊙ yr−1 and stellar masses M⋆ = 108–1011 M⊙. For 49 ± 4% of our sample, the dynamics suggest rotational support, 24 ± 3% are unresolved systems and 5 ± 2% appear to be early-stage major mergers with components on 8–30 kpc scales. The remaining 22 ± 5% appear to be dynamically complex, irregular (or face-on systems). For galaxies whose dynamics suggest rotational support, we derive inclination corrected rotational velocities and show these systems lie on a similar scaling between stellar mass and specific angular momentum as local spirals with j⋆ = J /M⋆ ∝ M 2/3 ⋆ but with a redshift evolution that scales as j⋆ ∝ M 2/3 ⋆ (1 + z) −1 . We also identify a correlation between specific angular momentum and disk stability such that galaxies with the highest specific angular momentum (log(j⋆ / M2/3 ⋆ ) > 2.5) are the most stable, with Toomre Q = 1.10 ± 0.18, compared to Q = 0.53± 0.22 for galaxies with log(j⋆ / M2/3 ⋆ ) < 2.5. At a fixed mass, the HST morphologies of galaxies with the highest specific angular momentum resemble spiral galaxies, whilst those with low specific angular momentum are morphologically complex and dominated by several bright star-forming regions. This suggests that angular momentum plays a major role in defining the stability of gas disks: at z ∼ 1, massive galaxies that have disks with low specific angular momentum, are globally unstable, clumpy and turbulent systems. In contrast, galaxies with high specific angular have evolved in to stable disks with spiral structure where star formation is a local (rather than global) process.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 24, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2017
Publication Date Jun 1, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 2, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 13, 2017
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 467
Issue 3
Pages 3140-3159
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx201
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1386939
Related Public URLs https://arxiv.org/pdf/1701.07448v1.pdf

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Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.






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