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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=0.3-1.7

Swinbank, M and Harrison, C and Trayford, J and Schaller, M and Smail, I and Schaye, J and Theuns, T and Smit, R and Alexander, D and Bacon, R and Bower, R and Contini, T and Crain, RA and Breuck, CD and Decarli, R and Epinat, B and Fumagalli, M and Furlong, M and Galametz, A and Johnson, H and Lagos, C and Richard, J and Vernet, J and Sharples, R and Sobral, D and Stott, J (2017) Angular momentum evolution of galaxies over the past 10-Gyr: A MUSE and KMOS dynamical survey of 400 star-forming galaxies from z=0.3-1.7. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 467 (3). pp. 3140-3159. ISSN 0035-8711

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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 are representative of star-forming, main-sequence galaxies, with star-formation rates of SFR=0.1-30Mo/yr and stellar masses M=10^8-10^11Mo. 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 8-30kpc 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*\propto M^(2/3) but with a redshift evolution that scales as j*\propto M^{2/3}(1+z)^(-1). We identify a correlation between specific angular momentum and disk stability such that galaxies with the highest specific angular momentum, log(j*/M^(2/3))>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*/M^(2/3))<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, appear to be globally unstable, clumpy and turbulent systems. In contrast, galaxies with high specific angular have evolved in to stable disks with spiral structures.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This published article can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx201
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 20:36
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stx201
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5872

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