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The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Gravitational Potential and Surface Density Drive Stellar Populations. I. Early-type Galaxies

Barone, Tania M. and D’Eugenio, Francesco and Colless, Matthew and Scott, Nicholas and van de Sande, Jesse and Bland-Hawthorn, Joss and Brough, Sarah and Bryant, Julia J. and Cortese, Luca and Croom, Scott M. and Foster, Caroline and Goodwin, Michael and Konstantopoulos, Iraklis S. and Lawrence, Jon S. and Lorente, Nuria P. F. and Medling, Anne M. and Owers, Matt S. and Richards, Samuel N. (2018) The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Gravitational Potential and Surface Density Drive Stellar Populations. I. Early-type Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 856 (1). Art. No. 64. ISSN 1538-4357.

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The well-established correlations between the mass of a galaxy and the properties of its stars are considered to be evidence for mass driving the evolution of the stellar population (SP). However, for early-type galaxies (ETGs), we find that g − i color and stellar metallicity [Z/H] correlate more strongly with gravitational potential Φ than with mass M, whereas SP age correlates best with surface density Σ. Specifically, for our sample of 625 ETGs with integral-field spectroscopy from the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral-field Galaxy Survey, compared to correlations with mass, the color–Φ, [Z/H]–Φ, and age–Σ relations show both a smaller scatter and a lower residual trend with galaxy size. For the star formation duration proxy [α/Fe], we find comparable results for trends with Φ and Σ, with both being significantly stronger than the [α/Fe]–M relation. In determining the strength of a trend, we analyze both the overall scatter, and the observational uncertainty on the parameters, in order to compare the intrinsic scatter in each correlation. These results lead us to the following inferences and interpretations: (1) the color–Φ diagram is a more precise tool for determining the developmental stage of the SP than the conventional color–mass diagram; and (2) gravitational potential is the primary regulator of global stellar metallicity, via its relation to the gas escape velocity. Furthermore, we propose the following two mechanisms for the age and [α/Fe] relations with Σ: (a) the age–Σ and [α/Fe]–Σ correlations arise as results of compactness-driven quenching mechanisms; and/or (b) as fossil records of the Σ_(SFR) ∝ Σ_(gas) relation in their disk-dominated progenitors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Barone, Tania M.0000-0002-2784-564X
D’Eugenio, Francesco0000-0003-2388-8172
Colless, Matthew0000-0001-9552-8075
Scott, Nicholas0000-0001-8495-8547
van de Sande, Jesse0000-0003-2552-0021
Bland-Hawthorn, Joss0000-0001-7516-4016
Brough, Sarah0000-0002-9796-1363
Bryant, Julia J.0000-0003-1627-9301
Cortese, Luca0000-0002-7422-9823
Croom, Scott M.0000-0003-2880-9197
Foster, Caroline0000-0003-0247-1204
Konstantopoulos, Iraklis S.0000-0003-2177-0146
Lorente, Nuria P. F.0000-0003-0450-4807
Medling, Anne M.0000-0001-7421-2944
Owers, Matt S.0000-0002-2879-1663
Richards, Samuel N.0000-0002-5368-0068
Additional Information:© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 October 10; revised 2018 January 31; accepted 2018 February 11; published 2018 March 26. The SAMI Galaxy Survey is based on observations made at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The SAMI spectrograph was developed jointly by the University of Sydney and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. The SAMI input catalog is based on data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the GAMA Survey and the VST ATLAS Survey. The SAMI Galaxy Survey is funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO; grant CE110001020), and other participating institutions. Parts of this research was conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project number CE170100013. T.M.B. is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. N.S. acknowledges a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. J.v.d.S. is funded under J.B.-H.'s ARC Laureate Fellowship (FL140100278). S.B. and M.S.O. acknowledge Australian Research Council Future Fellowships (FT140101166 and FT140100255). A.M.M. acknowledges NASA Hubble Fellowship (HST-HF2-51377) from the Space Telescope Science Institute, operated by Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA (NAS5-26555). We make extensive use of the Python programming language, including packages SciPy ( Astropy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013), matplotlib (Hunter 2007), emcee (Foreman-Mackey et al. 2013), and Pathos (; McKerns et al. 2011). In preliminary analyses, we also used TOPCAT (Taylor 2005).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilCE110001020
Australian Research CouncilCE170100013
Australian Government Research Training Program ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
University of SydneyUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilFL140100278
Australian Research CouncilFT140101166
Australian Research CouncilFT140100255
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51377
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180328-133306568
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Official Citation:Tania M. Barone et al 2018 ApJ 856 64
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85476
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:28 Mar 2018 21:26
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:31

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