Evidence for Impact of Galaxy Mergers on Stellar Kinematics of Early-type Galaxies

Yongmin Yoon, Changbom Park, Haeun Chung, Richard R. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We provide observational evidence that galaxy mergers significantly affect stellar kinematics of early-type galaxies (ETGs) such as specific stellar angular momentum within the half-light radius ( λRe ) and kinematic misalignment (ψ mis), using MaNGA integral field unit spectroscopic data that are in the Stripe 82 region of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In this study, tidal features around ETGs, which are detected in deep coadded images, are used as direct evidence for mergers that occurred recently. In the case of ETGs that do not have dust lanes, λRe is lower in ETGs with tidal features than in those without tidal features (median λRe : 0.21 versus 0.39) in all stellar mass and Sérsic index ranges except the most massive bin, so that the fraction of ETGs with tidal features in slow rotators is more than twice as large as that in fast rotators (42% versus 18%). Moreover, ETGs with tidal features have larger ψ mis than those without tidal features (mean ψ mis: 28° versus 15°). By contrast, ETGs with dust lanes are fast rotators, and ETGs with both dust lanes and tidal features have the highest λRe (median λRe : 0.59) among all ETG categories. In addition, ETGs with dust lanes have small ψ mis regardless of the existence of tidal features (ψ mis < 7.°5). Our results can be explained if mergers with different gas fractions generate merger remnants that have different kinematic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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