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Formation channels of slowly rotating early-type galaxies

Krajnović, Davor and Ural, Ugur and Kuntschner, Harald and Goudfrooij, Paul and Wolfe, Michael and Cappellari, Michele and Davies, Roger and de Zeeuw, Tim P. and Duc, Pierre-Alain and Emsellem, Eric and Karick, Arna and McDermid, Richard M. and Mei, Simona and Naab, Thorsten (2020) Formation channels of slowly rotating early-type galaxies. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 635 . Art. No. A129. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201937040.

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We study the evidence for a diversity of formation processes in early-type galaxies by presenting the first complete volume-limited sample of slow rotators with both integral-field kinematics from the ATLAS^(3D) Project and high spatial resolution photometry from the Hubble Space Telescope. Analysing the nuclear surface brightness profiles of 12 newly imaged slow rotators, we classify their light profiles as core-less, and place an upper limit to the core size of about 10 pc. Considering the full magnitude and volume-limited ATLAS^(3D) sample, we correlate the presence or lack of cores with stellar kinematics, including the proxy for the stellar angular momentum (λ_(Re)) and the velocity dispersion within one half-light radius (σ_e), stellar mass, stellar age, α-element abundance, and age and metallicity gradients. More than half of the slow rotators have core-less light profiles, and they are all less massive than 10¹¹ M⊙. Core-less slow rotators show evidence for counter-rotating flattened structures, have steeper metallicity gradients, and a larger dispersion of gradient values (Δ[Z/H] = −0.42 ± 0.18) than core slow rotators (Δ[Z/H] = −0.23 ± 0.07). Our results suggest that core and core-less slow rotators have different assembly processes, where the former, as previously discussed, are the relics of massive dissipation-less merging in the presence of central supermassive black holes. Formation processes of core-less slow rotators are consistent with accretion of counter-rotating gas or gas-rich mergers of special orbital configurations, which lower the final net angular momentum of stars, but support star formation. We also highlight core fast rotators as galaxies that share properties of core slow rotators (i.e. cores, ages, σe, and population gradients) and core-less slow rotators (i.e. kinematics, λ_(Re), mass, and larger spread in population gradients). Formation processes similar to those for core-less slow rotators can be invoked to explain the assembly of core fast rotators, with the distinction that these processes form or preserve cores.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Davies, Roger0000-0002-3324-4824
Mei, Simona0000-0002-2849-559X
Additional Information:© 2020 ESO. Articled published by EDP Sciences. Received 1 November 2019; Accepted 17 January 2020; Published online 19 March 2020. Michael Wolfe deceased during the final stages of this work, due to complications resulting from a stroke. He was very friendly to everyone, dedicated to his work, and always eager to learn new things. We offer sincere condolences to his family and friends. DK acknowledges support from the grant GZ: KR 4548/2-1 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. UU acknowledges support from the grant 50 OR 1412 of the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt. MC acknowledges support from a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. RMcD is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FT150100333). RLD acknowledges travel and computer grants from Christ Church, Oxford, and support from the Oxford Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys, which is funded through generous support from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation. Support for this project was provided by NASA through grant HST-GO-13324 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)GZ: KR 4548/2-1
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)50 OR 1412
Australian Research CouncilFT150100333
Christ Church, OxfordUNSPECIFIED
Hintze Family Charitable FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – galaxies: structure – galaxies: stellar content
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200319-132158636
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Formation channels of slowly rotating early-type galaxies. Davor Krajnović, Ugur Ural, Harald Kuntschner, Paul Goudfrooij, Michael Wolfe, Michele Cappellari, Roger Davies, Tim P. de Zeeuw, Pierre-Alain Duc, Eric Emsellem, Arna Karick, Richard M. McDermid, Simona Mei and Thorsten Naab. A&A, 635 (2020) A129; DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102002
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Mar 2020 20:35
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:07

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