Jesse Van De Sande, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Lisa M.R. Fogarty, Luca Cortese, Francesco D'Eugenio, Scott M. Croom, Nicholas Scott, James T. Allen, Sarah Brough, Julia J. Bryant, Gerald Cecil, Matthew Colless, Warrick J. Couch, Roger Davies, Pascal J. Elahi, Caroline Foster, Gregory Goldstein, Michael Goodwin, Brent Groves, I. Ting HoHyunjin Jeong, D. Heath Jones, Iraklis S. Konstantopoulos, Jon S. Lawrence, Sarah K. Leslie, Ángel R. López-Sánchez, Richard M. McDermid, Rebecca McElroy, Anne M. Medling, Sree Oh, Matt S. Owers, Samuel N. Richards, Adam L. Schaefer, Rob Sharp, Sarah M. Sweet, Dan Taranu, Chiara Tonini, C. Jakob Walcher, Sukyoung K. Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Recent cosmological hydrodynamical simulations suggest that integral field spectroscopy can connect the high-order stellar kinematic moments h3 (∼skewness) and h4 (∼kurtosis) in galaxies to their cosmological assembly history. Here, we assess these results by measuring the stellar kinematics on a sample of 315 galaxies, without a morphological selection, using two-dimensional integral field data from the SAMI Galaxy Survey. Proxies for the spin parameter (λRe) and ellipticity (∈e) are used to separate fast and slow rotators; there exists a good correspondence to regular and non-regular rotators, respectively, as also seen in earlier studies. We confirm that regular rotators show a strong h3 versus V/σ anti-correlation, whereas quasi-regular and non-regular rotators show a more vertical relation in h3 and V/σ. Motivated by recent cosmological simulations, we develop an alternative approach to kinematically classify galaxies from their individual h3 versus V/σ signatures. Within the SAMI Galaxy Survey, we identify five classes of high-order stellar kinematic signatures using Gaussian mixture models. Class 1 corresponds to slow rotators, whereas Classes 2-5 correspond to fast rotators. We find that galaxies with similar λRe - ∈e values can show distinctly different h3 - V/σ signatures. Class 5 objects are previously unidentified fast rotators that show a weak h3 versus V/σ anti-correlation. From simulations, these objects are predicted to be disk-less galaxies formed by gas-poor mergers. From morphological examination, however, there is evidence for large stellar disks. Instead, Class 5 objects are more likely disturbed galaxies, have counter-rotating bulges, or bars in edge-on galaxies. Finally, we interpret the strong anti-correlation in h3 versus V/σ as evidence for disks in most fast rotators, suggesting a dearth of gas-poor mergers among fast rotators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the anonymous referee for the constructive comments which improved the quality of the paper. We also thank Michele Cappellari and Thorsten Naab for useful comments and discussions. 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. J. vdS. is funded under Bland-Hawthorn's ARC Laureate Fellowship (FL140100278). J.T.A. acknowledges the award of a SIEF John Stocker Fellowship. M.S.O. acknowledges the funding support from the Australian Research Council through a Future Fellowship Fellowship (FT140100255). S.B. acknowledges the funding support from the Australian Research Council through a Future Fellowship (FT140101166). S.M.C. acknowledges the support of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT100100457). S.K.Y. acknowledges support from the Korean National Research Foundation (NRF-2014R1A2A1A01003730) and the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative (RMS2 2015-22-0064). The SAMI input catalog is based on data taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the GAMA Survey and the VST 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 GAMA is a joint European-Australasian project based around a spectroscopic campaign using the Anglo-Australian Telescope. The GAMA input catalog 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 programs 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: Based on data products (VST/ATLAS) from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program ID 177.A-3011(A, B, C). This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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