The epoch of disk settling: Z ∼ 1 to now

Susan A. Kassin, Benjamin J. Weiner, S. M. Faber, Jonathan P. Gardner, C. N.A. Willmer, Alison L. Coil, Michael C. Cooper, Julien Devriendt, Aaron A. Dutton, Puragra Guhathakurta, David C. Koo, A. J. Metevier, Kai G. Noeske, Joel R. Primack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


We present evidence from a sample of 544 galaxies from the DEEP2 Survey for evolution of the internal kinematics of blue galaxies with stellar masses ranging 8.0 < log M *(M) < 10.7 over 0.2 < z < 1.2. DEEP2 provides galaxy spectra and Hubble imaging from which we measure emission-line kinematics and galaxy inclinations, respectively. Our large sample allows us to overcome scatter intrinsic to galaxy properties in order to examine trends in kinematics. We find that at a fixed stellar mass, galaxies systematically decrease in disordered motions and increase in rotation velocity and potential well depth with time. Massive galaxies are the most well ordered at all times examined, with higher rotation velocities and less disordered motions than less massive galaxies. We quantify disordered motions with an integrated gas velocity dispersion corrected for beam smearing (σg). It is unlike the typical pressure-supported velocity dispersion measured for early type galaxies and galaxy bulges. Because both seeing and the width of our spectral slits comprise a significant fraction of the galaxy sizes, σg integrates over velocity gradients on large scales which can correspond to non-ordered gas kinematics. We compile measurements of galaxy kinematics from the literature over 1.2 < z < 3.8 and do not find any trends with redshift, likely for the most part, because these data sets are biased toward the most highly star-forming systems. In summary, over the last 8 billion years since z = 1.2, blue galaxies evolve from disordered to ordered systems as they settle to become the rotation-dominated disk galaxies observed in the universe today, with the most massive galaxies being the most evolved at any time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 2012


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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