On the extreme properties of massive galaxies at high redshifts

Mr. Fernando Buitrago Alonso

Abstract

Massive (≥ 1011 M⊙) galaxies at high redshift (z ≥ 1.5) remain mysterious objects. Their extremely small sizes (effective radii of 1-2 kpc) make them as dense as modern globular clusters. It is thought that a highly dissipational merger is needed to create such compact type of galaxies. We will discuss this issue, along with state-of-the-art morphological and kinematic observations of these objects. In the present day Universe massive galaxies show large sizes, and harbor old and metal-rich stellar populations. In order to explore their development, we present near-IR IFU observations with SINFONI@VLT for ten massive galaxies at z=1.4 solely selected by their high stellar mass which allow us to retrieve velocity dispersions, kinematic maps and dynamical masses. We joined this with data and works coming from the GOODS NICMOS Survey, the largest sample of massive galaxies (80 objects) with high-resolution imaging at high redshift (1.7 < z < 3) acquired to date. As a result, we show how their morphology changes possibly through elusive minor merging.

About the talk

On the extreme properties of massive galaxies at high redshifts
Mr. Fernando Buitrago Alonso
University of Nottingham, UK
Monday December 20, 2010
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