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The dynamics and distribution of angular momentum in HiZELS star-forming galaxies at z = 0.8-3.3

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher HarrisonORCiD



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

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© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.We present adaptive optics assisted integral field spectroscopy of 34 star-forming galaxies at z = 0.8-3.3 selected from the HiZELS narrow-band survey. We measure the kinematics of the ionized interstellar medium on ∼1 kpc scales, and show that the galaxies are turbulent, with a median ratio of rotational to dispersion support of V/σ = 0.82 ± 0.13. We combine the dynamics with high-resolution rest-frame optical imaging and extract emission-line rotation curves. We show that high-redshift star-forming galaxies follow a similar power-law trend in specific angular momentum with stellar mass to that of local late-type galaxies. We exploit the high resolution of our data and examine the radial distribution of angular momentum within each galaxy by constructing total angular momentum profiles. Although the stellar mass of a typical star-forming galaxy is expected to grow by a factor ∼8 in the ∼5 Gyr between z ∼3.3 and z ∼0.8, we show that the internal distribution of angular momentum becomes less centrally concentrated in this period; that is, the angular momentum grows outwards. To interpret our observations, we exploit the EAGLE simulation and trace the angular momentum evolution of star-forming galaxies from z ∼3 to z ∼0, identifying a similar trend of decreasing angular momentum concentration. This change is attributed to a combination of gas accretion in the outer disc, and feedback that preferentially arises from the central regions of the galaxy. We discuss how the combination of the growing bulge and angular momentum stabilizes the disc and gives rise to the Hubble sequence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillman S, Swinbank AM, Tiley AL, Harrison CM, Smail I, Dudzeviciute U, Sharples RM, Best PN, Bower RG, Cochrane R, Fisher D, Geach JE, Glazebrook K, Ibar E, Molina J, Obreschkow D, Schaller M, Sobral D, Sweet S, Trayford JW, Theuns T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Year: 2019

Volume: 486

Issue: 1

Pages: 175-194

Print publication date: 01/06/2019

Online publication date: 15/03/2019

Acceptance date: 07/03/2019

Date deposited: 04/02/2020

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz765


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