The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: High-resolution kinematics of luminous star-forming galaxies

Emily Wisnioski, Karl Glazebrook, Chris Blake, Ted Wyder, Chris Martin, Gregory Poole, Robert Sharp, Warrick Couch, Glenn Kacprzak, Sarah Brough, Matthew Colless, Carlos Contreras, Scott Croom, Darren Croton, Tamara Davis, Michael Drinkwater, Karl Forster, David Gilbank, Michael Gladders, Ben JelliffeRussell Jurek, I-hui Li, Barry Madore, Kevin Pimbblet, Michael Pracy, David Woods, Howard Yee

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    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 [Oii] 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 1-2kpc size subcomponents of emission, or clumps , are detected within the HI? spatial emission which extends over 6-10kpc in four galaxies, resolved compact emission (r <3kpc) is detected in five galaxies and extended regions of HI? 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 (I? > 100kms-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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2601 - 2623
    Number of pages23
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Cite this

    Wisnioski, E., Glazebrook, K., Blake, C., Wyder, T., Martin, C., Poole, G., Sharp, R., Couch, W., Kacprzak, G., Brough, S., Colless, M., Contreras, C., Croom, S., Croton, D., Davis, T., Drinkwater, M., Forster, K., Gilbank, D., Gladders, M., ... Yee, H. (2011). The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey: High-resolution kinematics of luminous star-forming galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 417(4), 2601 - 2623.