A KECK ADAPTIVE OPTICS SURVEY of A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE of GRAVITATIONALLY LENSED STAR-FORMING GALAXIES: HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION STUDIES of KINEMATICS and METALLICITY GRADIENTS

Nicha Leethochawalit, Tucker A. Jones, Richard S. Ellis, Daniel P. Stark, Johan Richard, Adi Zitrin, Matthew Auger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We discuss spatially resolved emission line spectroscopy secured for a total sample of 15 gravitationally lensed star-forming galaxies at a mean redshift of z ≃ 2 based on Keck laser-assisted adaptive optics observations undertaken with the recently improved OSIRIS integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph. By exploiting gravitationally lensed sources drawn primarily from the CASSOWARY survey, we sample these sub-L∗ galaxies with sourceplane resolutions of a few hundred parsecs ensuring well-sampled 2D velocity data and resolved variations in the gas-phase metallicity. Such high spatial resolution data offer a critical check on the structural properties of larger samples derived with coarser sampling using multiple-IFU instruments. We demonstrate how kinematic complexities essential to understanding the maturity of an early star-forming galaxy can often only be revealed with better sampled data. Although we include four sources from our earlier work, the present study provides a more representative sample unbiased with respect to emission line strength. Contrary to earlier suggestions, our data indicate a more diverse range of kinematic and metal gradient behavior inconsistent with a simple picture of well-ordered rotation developing concurrently with established steep metal gradients in all but merging systems. Comparing our observations with the predictions of hydrodynamical simulations suggests that gas and metals have been mixed by outflows or other strong feedback processes, flattening the metal gradients in early star-forming galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume820
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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