The many assembly histories of massive void galaxies as revealed by integral field spectroscopy

Amelia Fraser McKelvie, Kevin Pimbblet, Samantha Penny, Michael Brown

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We present the first detailed integral field spectroscopy study of nine central void galaxies with M* > 1010 M using the Wide Field Spectrograph to determine how a range of assembly histories manifest themselves in the current day Universe. While the majority of these galaxies are evolving secularly, we find a range of morphologies, merger histories and stellar population distributions, though similarly low Hα-derived star formation rates (<1 M yr-1). Two of our nine galaxies host active galactic nuclei, and two have kinematic disruptions to their gas that are not seen in their stellar component. Most massive void galaxies are red and discy, which we attribute to a lack of major mergers. Some have disturbed morphologies and may be in the process of evolving to early-type thanks to ongoing minor mergers at present times, likely fed by tendrils leading off filaments. The diversity in our small galaxy sample, despite being of similar mass and environment means that these galaxies are still assembling at present day, with minor mergers playing an important role in their evolution. We compare our sample to a mass and magnitude-matched sample of field galaxies, using data from the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral field spectrograph galaxy survey. We find that despite environmental differences, galaxies of mass M* > 1010 M have similarly low star formation rates (<3 M yr-1). The lack of distinction between the star formation rates of the void and field environments points to quenching of massive galaxies being a largely mass-related effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-770
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2016


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: general
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: stellar content

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