A z=1.82 Analog of Local Ultra-massive Elliptical Galaxies

Abstract : We present observations of a very massive galaxy at z=1.82 which show that its morphology, size, velocity dispersion and stellar population properties that are fully consistent with those expected for passively evolving progenitors of today's giant ellipticals. These findings are based on a deep optical rest-frame spectrum obtained with the Multi-Object InfraRed Camera and Spectrograph (MOIRCS) on the Subaru telescope of a high-z passive galaxy candidate (pBzK) from the COSMOS field, for which we accurately measure its redshift of z=1.8230 and obtain an upper limit on its velocity dispersion sigma_star<326 km/s. By detailed stellar population modeling of both the galaxy broad-band SED and the rest-frame optical spectrum we derive a star-formation-weighted age and formation redshift of t_sf~1-2 Gyr and z_form~2.5-4, and a stellar mass of M_star~(3-4)x10^{11} M_sun. This is in agreement with a virial mass limit of M_vir<7x10^{11}M_sun, derived from the measured sigma_star value and stellar half-light radius, as well as with the dynamical mass limit based on the Jeans equations. In contrast with previously reported super-dense passive galaxies at z~2, the present galaxy at z=1.82 appears to have both size and velocity dispersion similar to early-type galaxies in the local Universe with similar stellar mass. This suggests that z~2 massive and passive galaxies may exhibit a wide range of properties, then possibly following quite different evolutionary histories from z~2 to z=0.
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Contributor : Bruno Savelli <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 10:59:23 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 11:38:50 AM

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M. Onodera, E. Daddi, R. Gobat, M. Cappellari, N. Arimoto, et al.. A z=1.82 Analog of Local Ultra-massive Elliptical Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2010, 715 (1), pp.L6. ⟨10.1088/2041-8205/715/1/L6⟩. ⟨cea-01004135⟩



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