The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Revising the fraction of slow rotators in IFS galaxy surveys

Jesse van de Sande, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Sarah Brough, Scott M. Croom, Luca Cortese, Caroline Foster, Nicholas Scott, Julia J. Bryant, Francesco d'Eugenio, Chiara Tonini, Michael Goodwin, Iraklis S. Konstantopoulos, Jon S. Lawrence, Anne M. Medling, Matt S. Owers, Samuel N. Richards, Adam L. Schaefer, Sukyoung K. Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The fraction of galaxies supported by internal rotation compared to galaxies stabilized by internal pressure provides a strong constraint on galaxy formation models. In integral field spectroscopy surveys, this fraction is biased because survey instruments typically only trace the inner parts of the most massive galaxies. We present aperture corrections for the two most widely used stellar kinematic quantities V/σ and λR (spin parameter proxy). Our demonstration involves integral field data from the SAMI (Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral-field spectrograph) Galaxy Survey and the ATLAS3D survey. We find a tight relation for both V/σ and λR when measured in different apertures that can be used as a linear transformation as a function of radius, i.e. a first-order aperture correction. In degraded seeing, however, the aperture corrections are more significant as the steeper inner profile is more strongly affected by the point spread function than the outskirts. We find that V/σ and λR radial growth curves are well approximated by second-order polynomials. By only fitting the inner profile (0.5Re), we successfully recover the profile out to one Re if a constraint between the linear and quadratic parameter in the fit is applied. However, the aperture corrections for V/σ and λR derived by extrapolating the profiles perform as well as applying a first-order correction. With our aperture-corrected λR measurements, we find that the fraction of slow rotating galaxies increases with stellar mass. For galaxies with logM*/M > 11, the fraction of slow rotators is 35.9 ± 4.3 per cent, but is underestimated if galaxies without coverage beyond one Re are not included in the sample (24.2 ± 5.3 per cent). With measurements out to the largest aperture radius, the slow rotator fraction is similar as compared to using aperture-corrected values (38.3 ± 4.4 per cent). Thus, aperture effects can significantly bias stellar kinematic integral field spectrograph studies, but this bias can now be removed with the method outlined here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1285
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the anonymous referee for the very constructive comments that improved the quality of the paper. The SAMI Galaxy Survey is based on observations made at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral-field spectrograph (SAMI) was developed jointly by the University of Sydney and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, and funded by ARC grants FF0776384 (Bland-Hawthorn) and LE130100198. JvdS is funded under Bland-Hawthorn’s ARC Laureate Fellowship (FL140100278). SB acknowledges the funding support from the Australian Research Council through a Future Fellowship (FT140101166). MSO acknowledges the funding support from the Australian Research Council through a Future Fellowship (FT140100255). Support for AMM is provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant #HST-HF2-51377 awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS5-26555. S.K.Y. acknowledges support from the Korean National Research Foundation (NRF-2017R1A2A1A05001116) and Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2015 (RMS2 2015-22-0064).

Funding Information:
ATLAS survey. The SAMI Galaxy Survey is funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), through project number CE110001020, and other participating institutions. The SAMI Galaxy Survey website is

Funding Information:
GAMA is a joint European-Australasian project based around a spectroscopic campaign using the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The GAMA input catalogue is based on data taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey. Complementary imaging of the GAMA regions is being obtained by a number of independent survey programmes including GALEX MIS, VST KiDS, VISTA VIKING, WISE, Herschel-ATLAS, GMRT and ASKAP providing UV-to-radio coverage. GAMA is funded by the STFC (UK), the ARC (Australia), the AAO and the participating institutions. The GAMA website is

Funding Information:
Based on data products (VST/ATLAS) from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme ID 177.A-3011(A,B,C). Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III website is

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Revising the fraction of slow rotators in IFS galaxy surveys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this