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- The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: high-resolution kinematics of luminous star-forming galaxies
- Wisnioski, Emily; Glazebrook, Karl; Blake, Chris; Wyder, Ted; Martin, Chris; Poole, Gregory B.; Sharp, Rob; Couch, Warrick; Kacprzak, Glenn G.; Brough, Sarah; Colless, Matthew; Contreras, Carlos; Croom, Scott; Croton, Darren; Davis, Tamara M.; Drinkwater, Michael J.; Forster, Karl; Gilbank, David G.; Gladders, Michael; Jelliffe, Ben; Jurek, Russell J.; Li, I-hui; Madore, Barry; Pimbblet, Kevin; Pracy, Michael; Woods, David; Yee, H. K. C.
- We report evidence of ordered orbital motion in luminous star-forming galaxies at z∼ 1.3. We present integral field spectroscopy (IFS) observations, performed with the OH Suppressing InfraRed Imaging Spectrograph (OSIRIS) system, assisted by laser guide star adaptive optics on the Keck telescope, of 13 star-forming galaxies selected from the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey. Selected via ultraviolet and [O ii] emission, the large volume of the WiggleZ survey allows the selection of sources which have comparable intrinsic luminosity and stellar mass to IFS samples at z > 2. Multiple 1–2 kpc size subcomponents of emission, or 'clumps', are detected within the Hα spatial emission which extends over 6–10 kpc in four galaxies, resolved compact emission (r < 3 kpc) is detected in five galaxies and extended regions of Hα emission are observed in the remaining four galaxies. We discuss these data in the context of different snapshots in a merger sequence and/or the evolutionary stages of coalescence of star-forming regions in an unstable disc. We find evidence of ordered orbital motion in galaxies as expected from disc models and the highest values of velocity dispersion (σ > 100 km s−1) in the most compact sources. This unique data set reveals that the most luminous star-forming galaxies at z > 1 are gaseous unstable discs indicating that a different mode of star formation could be feeding gas to galaxies at z > 1, and lending support to theories of cold dense gas flows from the intergalactic medium.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies. Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 417, no. 4 (Nov 2011), pp. 2601-2623
- Publication year
- Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation copyright © 2011 Royal Astronomical Society. The accepted manuscript is reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive publication is available at www.interscience.wiley.com