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X-shooter Spectroscopy and HST Imaging of 15 Massive Quiescent Galaxies at z ≳ 2

Stockmann, Mikkel and Toft, Sune and Gallazzi, Anna and Zibetti, Stefano and Conselice, Christopher J. and Margalef-Bentabol, Berta and Zabl, Johannes and Jørgensen, Inger and Magdis, Georgios E. and Gómez-Guijarro, Carlos and Valentino, Francesco M. and Brammer, Gabriel B. and Ceverino, Daniel and Cortzen, Isabella and Davidzon, Iary and Demarco, Richardo and Faisst, Andreas and Hirschmann, Michaela and Krogager, Jens-Kristian and Lagos, Claudia D. and Man, Allison W. S. and Mundy, Carl J. and Peng, Yingjie and Selsing, Jonatan and Steinhardt, Charles L. and Whitaker, Kathrine E. (2020) X-shooter Spectroscopy and HST Imaging of 15 Massive Quiescent Galaxies at z ≳ 2. Astrophysical Journal, 888 (1). Art. No. 4. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab5af4.

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We present a detailed analysis of a large sample of spectroscopically confirmed massive quiescent galaxies (MQGs; log(M*/M ⊙) ~ 11.5) at z ≳ 2. This sample comprises 15 galaxies selected in the COSMOS and UDS fields by their bright K-band magnitudes and followed up with Very Large Telescope (VLT) X-shooter spectroscopy and Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/WFC3 H_(F160W) imaging. These observations allow us to unambiguously confirm their redshifts, ascertain their quiescent nature and stellar ages, and reliably assess their internal kinematics and effective radii. We find that these galaxies are compact, consistent with the high-mass end of the stellar mass–size relation for quiescent galaxies at z = 2. Moreover, the distribution of the measured stellar velocity dispersions of the sample is consistent with the most massive local early-type galaxies from the MASSIVE Survey, showing that evolution in these galaxies is dominated by changes in size. The HST images reveal, as surprisingly high, that 40% of the sample has tidal features suggestive of mergers and companions in close proximity, including three galaxies experiencing ongoing major mergers. The absence of velocity dispersion evolution from z = 2 to 0, coupled with a doubling of the stellar mass, with a factor of 4 size increase and the observed disturbed stellar morphologies, supports dry minor mergers as the primary drivers of the evolution of the MQGs over the last 10 billion yr.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Stockmann, Mikkel0000-0001-5983-6273
Toft, Sune0000-0003-3631-7176
Gallazzi, Anna0000-0002-9656-1800
Zibetti, Stefano0000-0003-1734-8356
Conselice, Christopher J.0000-0003-1949-7638
Margalef-Bentabol, Berta0000-0001-8702-7019
Zabl, Johannes0000-0002-9842-6354
Jørgensen, Inger0000-0003-3002-1446
Magdis, Georgios E.0000-0002-4872-2294
Gómez-Guijarro, Carlos0000-0002-4085-9165
Valentino, Francesco M.0000-0001-6477-4011
Brammer, Gabriel B.0000-0003-2680-005X
Ceverino, Daniel0000-0002-8680-248X
Cortzen, Isabella0000-0001-9197-7623
Davidzon, Iary0000-0002-2951-7519
Demarco, Richardo0000-0003-3921-2177
Faisst, Andreas0000-0002-9382-9832
Hirschmann, Michaela0000-0002-3301-3321
Krogager, Jens-Kristian0000-0002-4912-9388
Lagos, Claudia D.0000-0003-3021-8564
Man, Allison W. S.0000-0003-2475-124X
Mundy, Carl J.0000-0002-0833-8554
Peng, Yingjie0000-0001-8302-5198
Selsing, Jonatan0000-0001-9058-3892
Steinhardt, Charles L.0000-0003-3780-6801
Whitaker, Kathrine E.0000-0001-7160-3632
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 July 30; revised 2019 November 11; accepted 2019 November 21; published 2019 December 27. We thank the anonymous referee for a constructive report that helped us improve the quality of the manuscript. We thank Martin Sparre for his useful discussions related to X-shooter data. M.S. extends gratitude to Nina Voit for her ultimate support and patience in the creation of this work. Based on data products from observations made with ESO telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatories under ESO program IDs 086.B-0955(A) and 093.B-0627(A) and on data products produced by TERAPIX and the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit on behalf of the UltraVISTA consortium. M.S., S.T., G.M., C.G., G.B., and C.S. acknowledge support from the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant funding scheme (project ConTExt, grant No. 648179). Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. The STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant No. HST-GO-14721.002 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. This research made use of Astropy (version 1.1.1),28 a community-developed core Python package for astronomy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013, 2018). This research made use of APLpy, an open-source plotting package for Python (Robitaille & Bressert 2012). I.J. is supported by the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., on behalf of the international Gemini partnership of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America. G.E.M. acknowledges support from Villum Fonden research grant 13160, Gas to stars, stars to dust: tracing star formation across cosmic time. A.M. is supported by the Dunlap Fellowship through an endowment established by the David Dunlap family and the University of Toronto. R.D. gratefully acknowledges support from Chilean Centro de Excelencia en Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines (CATA) BASAL grant AFB-170002. M.H. acknowledges financial support from the Carlsberg Foundation via a Semper Ardens grant (CF15-0384). Y.P. acknowledges NSFC grant No. 11773001 and National Key R&D Program of China grant 2016YFA0400702. The Cosmic Dawn Center is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)648179
NASANAS 5-26555
Dunlap InstituteUNSPECIFIED
University of TorontoUNSPECIFIED
Carlsberg FoundationCF15-0384
National Natural Science Foundation of China11773001
National Key Research and Development Program of China2016YFA0400702
Danish National Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Infrared galaxies; Compact galaxies; Quenched galaxies; Near infrared astronomy; Infrared astronomy; Galaxy kinematics; Galaxy dynamics; Stellar masses; Stellar ages; Stellar radii; High resolution spectroscopy; Hubble Space Telescope
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Infrared galaxies (790); Compact galaxies (285); Quenched galaxies (2016); Near infrared astronomy (1093); Infrared astronomy (786); Galaxy kinematics (602); Galaxy dynamics (591); Stellar masses (1614); Stellar ages
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200102-110640694
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Mikkel Stockmann et al 2020 ApJ 888 4
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100458
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Jan 2020 19:16
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:54

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