Journal Article

The role of spin in the formation and evolution of galaxies

Zachory K. Berta, Raul Jimenez, Alan F. Heavens and Ben Panter

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 1, pages 197-204
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The role of spin in the formation and evolution of galaxies

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Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopic sample, we estimate the dark matter halo spin parameter λ for ∼52 000 disc galaxies for which moped star formation histories are available. We investigate the relationship between spin and total stellar mass, star formation history and environment. First, we find a clear anticorrelation between stellar mass and spin, with low-mass galaxies generally having high dark matter spins. Secondly, galaxies which have formed more than ∼5 per cent of their stars in the last 0.2 Gyr have more broadly distributed and typically higher spins (including a significant fraction with λ > 0.1) than galaxies which formed a large fraction of their stars more than 10 Gyr ago. Finally, we find little or no correlation between the value of spin of the dark halo and environment as determined both by proximity to a new cluster catalogue and a marked correlation study. This agrees well with the predictions from the linear hierarchical torquing theory and numerical simulations.

Keywords: stars: stellar populations; galaxies: general

Journal Article.  5978 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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