- The stellar velocity dispersion of a compact massive galaxy at z = 1.80 using X-Shooter: confirmation of the evolution in the mass-size and mass-dispersion relations
- Astrophysical Journal Letters
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Recent photometric studies have shown that early-type galaxies at fixed stellar mass were smaller and denser at earlier times. In this Letter, we assess that finding by deriving the dynamical mass of such a compact quiescent galaxy at z = 1.8. We have obtained a high-quality spectrum with full UV-NIR wavelength coverage of galaxy NMBS-C7447 using X-Shooter on the Very Large Telescope. We determined a velocity dispersion of 294 ± 51 km s-1. Given this velocity dispersion and the effective radius of 1.64 ± 0.15 kpc (as determined from Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 F160W observations) we derive a dynamical mass of (1.7 ± 0.5) × 1011 M ☉. Comparison of the full spectrum with stellar population synthesis models indicates that NMBS-C774 has a relatively young stellar population (0.40 Gyr) with little or no star formation and a stellar mass of M ~ 1.5 × 1011 M ☉. The dynamical and photometric stellar masses are in good agreement. Thus, our study supports the conclusion that the mass densities of quiescent galaxies were indeed higher at earlier times, and this earlier result is not caused by systematic measurement errors. By combining available spectroscopic measurements at different redshifts, we find that the velocity dispersion at fixed dynamical mass was a factor of ~1.8 higher at z = 1.8 compared with z = 0. Finally, we show that the apparent discrepancies between the few available velocity dispersion measurements at z > 1.5 are consistent with the intrinsic scatter of the mass-size relation.
Footnote* Based on X-Shooter-VLT observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile. Footnote** Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
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