S. Arribas

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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Publications (222)480.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We analyze the spatially resolved (250 pc scales) and integrated star-formation (SF) law in the local luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) IC4687. This is one of the first studies of the SF law on a starburst LIRG at these small spatial scales. We combined new interferometric ALMA CO(2-1) data with existing HST/NICMOS Pa$\alpha$ narrow-band imaging and VLT/SINFONI near-IR integral field spectroscopy to obtain accurate extinction corrected SF rate (SFR) and cold molecular gas surface densities ($\Sigma_{gas}$ and $\Sigma_{SFR}$). We find that IC4687 forms stars very efficiently with an average depletion time ($t_{dep}$) of 160 Myr for the individual 250 pc regions. This is approximately one order of magnitude shorter than the $t_{dep}$ of local normal spirals and also shorter than that of main-sequence high-z objects, even when we use a Galactic $\alpha_{CO}$ conversion factor. This result suggests a bimodal SF law in the $\Sigma_{SFR} \propto \Sigma_{gas}^{N}$ representation. A universal SF law is recovered if we normalize the $\Sigma_{gas}$ by the global dynamical time. However, at the spatial scales studied here, we find that the SF efficiency (or $t_{dep}$) does not depend on the local dynamical time for this object. Therefore, an alternative normalization (e.g., free-fall time) should be found if a universal SF law exists at these scales.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical imaging and long slit spectroscopic observations of nine luminous type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGN) within the redshift range 0.3 < z < 0.6 based on Very Large Telescope Focal Reducer and Low Dispersion Spectrograph (VLT FORS2) data. Most objects (6/9) are high luminosity Seyfert 2, and three are type 2 quasars (QSO2), with our sample extending to lower luminosity than previous works. Seven out of nine objects (78 per cent) show morphological evidence for interactions or mergers in the form of disturbed morphologies and/or peculiar features such as tidal tails, amorphous haloes, or compact emission line knots. The detection rate of morphological evidence for interaction is consistent with those found during previous studies of QSO2 at similar z, suggesting that the merger rate is independent of AGN power at the high end of the AGN luminosity function. We find the emission line flux spatial profiles are often dominated by the often spatially unresolved central source. In addition, all but one of our samples is associated with much fainter, extended line emission. We find these extended emission line structures have a variety of origins and ionization mechanisms: star-forming companions, tidal features, or extended ionized nebulae. AGN related processes dominate the excitation of the nuclear gas. Stellar photoionization sometimes plays a role in extended structures often related to mergers/interactions.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The velocity structure imprinted in the Halpha emission line profiles contains valuable information about galactic outflows. Using a set of high-resolution zoom-in cosmological simulations of galaxies at z=2, we generate Halpha emission line profiles, taking into account the temperature-dependent Halpha emissivity, as well as dust extinction. The lines can be described as a sum of two gaussians, as typically done with observations. In general, its properties are in good agreement with those observed in local isolated galaxies with similar masses and star formation rates. Blueshifted outflows are very common in the sample. They extend several kpc above the galaxy discs. They are also spread over the full extent of the discs. However, at small radii, the material with high velocities tends to remain confined within a thick disc, as part of galactic fountains or a turbulent medium, most probably due to the deeper gravitational potential at the galaxy center.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical imaging and long slit spectroscopic observations of 9 luminous type 2 AGNs within the redshift range 0.3<z<0.6 based on VLT-FORS2 data. Most objects (6/9) are high luminosity Seyfert 2, and three are type 2 quasars (QSO2), with our sample extending to lower luminosity than previous works. Seven out of nine objects (78%) show morphological evidence for interactions or mergers in the form of disturbed morphologies and/or peculiar features such as tidal tails, amorphous halos, or compact emission line knots. The detection rate of morphological evidence for interaction is consistent with those found during previous studies of QSO2 at similar z, suggesting that the merger rate is independent of AGN power at the high end of the AGN luminosity function. We find the emission line flux spatial profiles are often dominated by the often spatially unresolved central source. In addition, all but one of our sample is associated with much fainter, extended line emission. We find these extended emission line structures have a variety of origins and ionization mechanisms: star forming companions, tidal features, or extended ionized nebulae. AGN related processes dominate the excitation of the nuclear gas. Stellar photoionization sometimes plays a role in extended structures often related to mergers/interactions.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Galaxy evolution scenarios predict that the feedback of star formation and nuclear activity (AGN) can drive the transformation of gas-rich spiral mergers into ULIRGs, and, eventually, lead to the build-up of QSO/elliptical hosts. We study the role that star formation and AGN feedback have in launching and maintaining the molecular outflows in two starburst-dominated advanced mergers, NGC1614 and IRAS17208-0014, by analyzing the distribution and kinematics of their molecular gas reservoirs. We have used the PdBI array to image with high spatial resolution (0.5"-1.2") the CO(1-0) and CO(2-1) line emissions in NGC1614 and IRAS17208-0014, respectively. The velocity fields of the gas are analyzed and modeled to find the evidence of molecular outflows in these sources and characterize the mass, momentum and energy of these components. While most (>95%) of the CO emission stems from spatially-resolved (~2-3kpc-diameter) rotating disks, we also detect in both mergers the emission from high-velocity line wings that extend up to +-500-700km/s, well beyond the estimated virial range associated with rotation and turbulence. The kinematic major axis of the line wing emission is tilted by ~90deg in NGC1614 and by ~180deg in IRAS17208-0014 relative to their respective rotating disk major axes. These results can be explained by the existence of non-coplanar molecular outflows in both systems. In stark contrast with NGC1614, where star formation alone can drive its molecular outflow, the mass, energy and momentum budget requirements of the molecular outflow in IRAS17208-0014 can be best accounted for by the existence of a so far undetected (hidden) AGN of L_AGN~7x10^11 L_sun. The geometry of the molecular outflow in IRAS17208-0014 suggests that the outflow is launched by a non-coplanar disk that may be associated with a buried AGN in the western nucleus.
    Preview · Article · May 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the 2D excitation structure of the ISM in a sample of LIRGs and Seyferts using near-IR IFS. This study extends to the near-IR the well-known optical and mid-IR emission line diagnostics used to classify activity in galaxies. Based on the spatially resolved spectroscopy of prototypes, we identify in the [FeII]1.64/Br$\gamma$ - H_2 1-0S(1)/Br$\gamma$ plane regions dominated by the different heating sources, i.e. AGNs, young MS massive stars, and evolved stars i.e. supernovae. The ISM in LIRGs occupy a wide region in the near-IR diagnostic plane from -0.6 to +1.5 and from -1.2 to +0.8 (in log units) for the [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ and H_2/Br$\gamma$ line ratios, respectively. The corresponding median(mode) ratios are +0.18(0.16) and +0.02(-0.04). Seyferts show on average larger values by factors ~2.5 and ~1.4 for the [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ and H_2/Br$\gamma$ ratios, respectively. New areas and relations in the near-IR diagnostic plane are defined for the compact, high surface brightness regions dominated by AGN, young ionizing stars, and SNe explosions, respectively. In addition, the diffuse regions affected by the AGN radiation field cover an area similar to that of Seyferts, but with high values in [FeII]/Br$\gamma$ that are not as extreme. The extended, non-AGN diffuse regions cover a wide area in the diagnostic diagram that overlaps that of individual excitation mechanisms (i.e. AGN, young stars, and SNe), but with its mode value to that of the young SF clumps. This indicates that the excitation conditions of the diffuse ISM are likely due to a mixture of the different ionization sources. The integrated line ratios in LIRGs show higher excitation conditions i.e. towards AGNs, than those measured by the spatially resolved spectroscopy. If this behaviour is representative, it would have clear consequences when classifying high-z, SF galaxies based on their near-IR integrated spectra.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of the integrated spectral energy distribution (SED) from the ultraviolet (UV) to the far-infrared and H$\alpha$ of a sample of 29 local systems and individual galaxies with infrared (IR) luminosities between 10^11 Lsun and 10^11.8 Lsun. We have combined new narrow-band H$\alpha$+[NII] and broad-band g, r optical imaging taken with the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), with archival GALEX, 2MASS, Spitzer, and Herschel data. The SEDs (photometry and integrated H$\alpha$ flux) have been fitted with a modified version of the MAGPHYS code using stellar population synthesis models for the UV-near-IR range and thermal emission models for the IR emission taking into account the energy balance between the absorbed and re-emitted radiation. From the SED fits we derive the star-formation histories (SFH) of these galaxies. For nearly half of them the star-formation rate appears to be approximately constant during the last few Gyrs. In the other half, the current star-formation rate seems to be enhanced by a factor of 3-20 with respect to that occured ~1 Gyr ago. Objects with constant SFH tend to be more massive than starbursts and they are compatible with the expected properties of a main-sequence (M-S) galaxy. Likewise, the derived SFHs show that all our objects were M-S galaxies ~1 Gyr ago with stellar masses between 10^10.1 and 10^11.5 Msun. We also derived from our fits the average extinction (A_v=0.6-3 mag) and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) luminosity to L(IR) ratio (0.03-0.16). We combined the A_v with the total IR and H$\alpha$ luminosities into a diagram which can be used to identify objects with rapidly changing (increasing or decreasing) SFR during the last 100 Myr.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: The nuclei of merging galaxies are often deeply buried in dense layers of gas and dust. In these regions, gas outflows driven by starburst and AGN activity are believed to play a crucial role in the evolution of these galaxies. However, to fully understand this process it is essential to resolve the morphology and kinematics of such outflows. Using near-IR integral-field spectroscopy obtained with VLT/SINFONI, we detect a kpc-scale structure of high-velocity molecular hydrogen (H2) gas associated with the deeply buried secondary nucleus of the IR-luminous merger NGC3256. We show that this structure is likely the hot component of a molecular outflow, which is detected also in the cold molecular gas by Sakamoto et al. This outflow, with a molecular gas mass of M(H2)~2x10^7 Msun, is among the first to be spatially resolved in both the hot H2 gas with VLT/SINFONI and the cold CO-emitting gas with ALMA. The hot and cold components share a similar morphology and kinematics, with a hot-to-cold molecular gas mass ratio of ~6x10^-5. The high (~100 pc) resolution at which we map the geometry and velocity structure of the hot outflow reveals a biconical morphology with opening angle ~40 deg and gas spread across a FWZI~1200 km/s. Because this collimated outflow is oriented close to the plane of the sky, the molecular gas may reach maximum intrinsic outflow velocities of ~1800 km/s, with an average mass outflow rate of at least ~20 Msun/yr. By modeling the line-ratios of various near-IR H2 transitions, we show that the H2 gas in the outflow is heated through shocks or X-rays to a temperature of ~1900K. The energy needed to drive the outflow is likely provided by a hidden Compton-thick AGN or by the nuclear starburst. We show that the global kinematics of the molecular outflow in NGC3256 mimic those of CO-outflows that have been observed at low spatial resolution in starburst- and active galaxies.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We present a multi-wavelength integral field spectroscopic study of the low-z LIRG IRAS F11506-3851, on the basis of VIMOS and SINFONI (ESO-VLT) observations. The morphology and the 2D kinematics of the gaseous (neutral and ionized) and stellar components have been mapped using the NaD doublet, the H$\alpha$ line, and the near-IR CO(2-0) and CO(3-1) bands. The kinematics of the ionized gas and the stars are dominated by rotation, with large observed velocity amplitudes and centrally peaked velocity dispersion maps. The stars lag behind the warm gas and represent a dynamically hotter system, as indicated by the observed dynamical ratios. Thanks to these IFS data we have disentangled the contribution of the stars and the ISM to the NaD feature, finding that it is dominated by the absorption of neutral gas clouds in the ISM. The neutral gas 2D kinematics shows a complex structure dominated by two components. On the one hand, the thick slowly rotating disk lags significantly compared to the ionized gas and the stars, with an irregular and off-center velocity dispersion map. On the other hand, a kpc-scale neutral gas outflow is observed along the semi-minor axis of the galaxy, as revealed by large blueshifted velocities (30-154 km/s). We derive an outflowing mass rate in neutral gas of about 48 $\dot{M_{\rm w}}$/yr. Although this implies a global mass loading factor of 1.4, the 2D distribution of the ongoing SF suggests a much larger value of mass loading factor associated with the inner regions (R$<$200 pc), where the current SF represents only 3 percent of the total. All together these results strongly suggest that we are witnessing (nuclear) quenching due to SF feedback in IRAS F11506-3851. However, the relatively large mass of molecular gas detected in the nuclear region via the H2 1-0 S(1) line suggests that further episodes of SF may take place again.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We study the kinematic properties of the ambient ionized ISM and ionized gas outflows in a large and representative sample of local luminous and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs) (58 systems, 75 galaxies), on the basis of integral field spectroscopy (IFS)-based high S/N integrated spectra at galactic and sub-galactic, i.e. star forming (SF) clumps, scales. Ambient ionized gas. The velocity dispersion of the ionized ISM in U/LIRGs ( ~ 70 kms-1) is larger than in lower luminosity local star forming galaxies ( ~ 25 kms-1). While for isolated disc LIRGs star formation appears to sustain turbulence, gravitational energy release associated to interactions and mergers plays an important role driving sigma in the U/LIRG range. We also find that the impact of an AGN in ULIRGs is strong, increasing sigma by a factor 1.5 on average. The observed weak dependency of sigma on SFR surface density for local U/LIRGs is in very good agreement with that measured in some high-z sources. Ionized outflows. The presence of ionized gas outflows in U/LIRGs seems universal based on the detection of a broad, usually blueshifted, Halpha line. AGNs in U/LIRGs are able to generate faster (x2) and more massive (x1.4) ionized gas outflows than pure starbursts. The derived ionized mass loading factors are in general below one, with only a few AGNs above this limit. Only a small fraction of the ionized material from low mass LIRGs (log(Mdyn/Msun) < 10.4) could reach the intergalactic medium, with more massive galaxies retaining the gas. The observed average outflow properties in U/LIRGs are similar to high-z galaxies of comparable SFR. In the bright SF clumps found in LIRGs, ionized gas outflows appear to be very common. For a given SFR surface density, outflows in LIRG clumps would be about one to two orders of magnitude less energetic than those launched by clumps in high-z SF galaxies.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present and discuss the 2D kinematic properties of the ionized gas (Halpha) in a sample of 38 local (ultra) luminous infrared galaxies [(U)LIRGs] (31 LIRGs and 7 ULIRGs) observed with VIMOS at the VLT using integral field spectroscopy. This sample covers well the less studied LIRG luminosity range and includes isolated disks, interacting systems, and mergers. The majority of the galaxies have two main kinematically distinct components. One component (i.e., narrow or systemic) extends over the whole line-emitting region and is characterized by small to intermediate velocity dispersions (i.e., sigma from 30 to 160 km s^-1). It traces the overall velocity field. The second component (broad) has in general a larger velocity dispersion (up to 320 km s^-1), mainly found in the inner regions and generally blueshifted with respect to the systemic component. Most of the objects (76%) are dominated by rotation, more relevant in LIRGs than in ULIRGs. Isolated disks, interacting galaxies, and merging systems define a sequence of increasing mean velocity dispersion, and decreasing velocity field amplitude.The LIRGs classified as isolated disks have similar velocity amplitudes but larger mean velocity dispersions (44 vs. 24 km s^-1) than local spirals, implying a larger turbulence and thicker disks. Interacting systems and mergers have values closer to those of low velocity dispersion ellipticals/lenticular galaxies (E/SOs). The (U)LIRGs classified as mergers have kinematic properties similar to those shown by the Lyman break analogs (LBAs). The dynamical masses range from \sim 0.04 m* to 1.4 m* (i.e., m* = 1.4x10^{11} Msun), with ULIRGs (M{dyn} sim 0.5 +/- 0.2 m*) being more massive than LIRGs by, on average, a factor of about 2. The mass ratio of individual pre-coalescence galaxies is <2.5 for most of the systems, confirming that most (U)LIRG mergers involve sub-m* galaxies of similar mass.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present results of CO(1-0) spectroscopic observations of 10 SDSS type 2 quasars (QSO2) at z~0.2-0.3 observed with the 30m IRAM radiotelescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array. We report 5 new confirmed CO(1-0) detections and 1 tentative detection. They have L'(CO)~several x 1e9 K km s-1 pc^2, while upper limits for the non detections are L'(CO)<~ several x 1e9 K km s-1 pc^2. This study increases the total number of QSO2 with CO measurements at z<~1 to 20, with a 50% detection rate.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a 2D study of the internal extinction on (sub)kiloparsec scales of a sample of local (z<0.1) (U)LIRGs, based on near-infrared Pa_a, Br_d, and Br_g line ratios, obtained with VLT-SINFONI integral-field spectroscopy. The 2D extinction (Av) distributions of the objects, map regions of ~3x3 kpc (LIRGs) and ~12x12 kpc (ULIRGs), with average angular resolutions (FWHM) of ~0.2 kpc and ~0.9 kpc, respectively. The individual Av galaxy distributions indicate a very clumpy dust structure already on sub-kiloparsec scales, with values (per spaxel) ranging from Av ~ 1 to 20 mag in LIRGs, and from Av ~ 2 to 15 mag in ULIRGs. As a class, the median values of the distributions are Av=5.3 mag and Av=6.5 mag for the LIRG and ULIRG subsamples, respectively. We evaluated the effects of the galaxy distance in the measurements of the extinction as a function of the linear scale (in kpc) of the spaxel (i.e. due to the limited angular resolution of the observations). If the distribution of the gas/dust and star-forming regions in local LIRGs (63 Mpc, 40 pc/spaxel on average) is the same for galaxies at greater distances, the observed median Av values based on emission line ratios would be a factor ~0.8 lower at the average distance of our ULIRG sample (328 Mpc, 0.2 kpc/spaxel), and a factor ~0.67 for galaxies located at distances of more than 800 Mpc (0.4 kpc/spaxel). This distance effect would have implications for deriving the intrinsic extinction in high-z star-forming galaxies and for subsequent properties such as star formation rate, star formation surface density, and KS- law, based on H_alpha line fluxes. If local LIRGs are analogues of the main-sequence star-forming galaxies at cosmological distances, the extinction values (Av) derived from the observed emission lines in these high-z sources would need to be increased by a factor 1.4 on average.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: I. The sample and first results
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present an atlas of a sample of local (U)LIRGs covering the luminosity range log(L_IR/L_sun)=11.1-12.4. The atlas is based on near-infrared H and K-band VLT-SINFONI IFS, and presents the ionised, partially ionised, and warm molecular gas 2D flux distributions and kinematics over a FoV of 3x3 kpc (LIRGs) and 12x12kpc (ULIRGs) and with average linear resolutions of 0.2kpc and 0.9kpc, respectively. The different phases of the gas show a wide morphological variety with the nucleus as the brightest Br_g source for 33% of the LIRGs and 71% of the ULIRGs, whereas all the (U)LIRGs have their maximum H_2 emission in their nuclear regions. In LIRGs, the ionised gas distribution is dominated by the emission from the star-forming rings or giant HII regions in the spiral arms. The Br_g and [FeII] line at 1.644 micron trace the same structures, although the emission peaks at different locations in some of the objects, and the [FeII] seems to be more extended and diffuse. The ULIRG subsample contains mainly pre-coalescence interacting systems. Although the peaks of the molecular gas emission and the continuum coincide in 71% of the ULIRGs, regions with intense Pa_a (Br_g) emission tracing luminous star-forming regions located at distances of 2-4kpc away from the nucleus are also detected, usually associated with secondary nuclei or tidal tails. The gas kinematics in LIRGs are primarily due to rotational motions around the centre of the galaxy, although local deviations associated with radial flows and/or regions of higher velocity dispersions are present. The ionised and molecular gas share the same kinematics to first order, showing slight differences in the velocity amplitudes in some cases, whereas the average velocity dispersions are compatible within uncertainties. As expected, the kinematics of the ULIRG subsample is more complex, owing to the interacting nature of the objects of the sample.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: HARMONI is a visible and near-IR integral field spectrograph, providing the E-ELT's spectroscopic capability at first light. It obtains simultaneous spectra of 32000 spaxels, at a range of resolving powers from R~4000 to R~20000, covering the wavelength range from 0.47 to 2.45 μm. The 256 × 128 spaxel field of view has four different plate scales, with the coarsest scale (40 mas) providing a 5″ × 10″ FoV, while the finest scale is a factor of 10 finer (4mas). We describe the opto-mechanical design of HARMONI, prior to the start of preliminary design, including the main subsystems - namely the image de-rotator, the scale-changing optics, the splitting and slicing optics, and the spectrographs. We also present the secondary guiding system, the pupil imaging optics, the field and pupil stops, the natural guide star wavefront sensor, and the calibration unit.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: H- and K-band stacked spectra of the U/LIRG sample, divided into three subsets with log(LIR\L⊙)<11.35 (low infra-red luminosity), 11.35<=log(LIR\L⊙)<12 (intermediate infra-red luminosity), and log(LIR\L⊙)>=12 (high infra-red luminosity). The spectra are normalised to a linear fit of the continuum measured within the intervals [1.600, 1.610]um and [1.690, 1.700]um for the H-band and [2.080, 2.115]um and [2.172, 2.204]um for the K-band. The spectra of each galaxy in each luminosity bin are derotated, rebinned, stacked, and convolved to a resolution of 10Å (FWHM) to achieve a homogeneous resolution. See the text for further details. (5 data files).
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012
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    E. Bellocchi · S. Arribas · L. Colina
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    ABSTRACT: We have obtained VIMOS/VLT optical integral field spectroscopy (IFS) data for a sample of 4 LIRGs which have been selected at a similar distance ($\sim$ 70 Mpc) to avoid relative resolution effects. They have been classified in two groups (isolated disk and post-coalescence mergers) according to their morphology. The $kinemetry$ method (developed by Krajnovic and coworkers) is used to characterize the kinematic properties of these galaxies and to discuss new criteria for distinguishing their status. We present and discuss new kinematic maps (i.e., velocity field and velocity dispersion) for these four galaxies. The morphological and kinematic classifications of these systems are consistent, with disks having lower kinematic asymmetries than post-coalescence mergers. We then propose and discuss a new kinematic criterion to differentiate these two groups. This criterion distinguishes better these two categories and has the advantage of being less sensitive to angular resolution effects. According to the previous criteria,the present post-coalescence systems would have been classified as disks. This indicates that the separation of disks from mergers is subjective to the definition of `merger'. It also suggests that previous estimates of the merger/disk ratio could have been underestimated, but larger samples are necessary to establish a firmer conclusion.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. We study the analogy between local U/LIRGs and high-z massive SFGs by comparing basic H{\alpha} structural characteristics, such as size, and luminosity (and SFR) surface density, in an homogeneous way (i.e. same tracer and size definition, similar physical scales). Methods. We use Integral Field Spectroscopy based H{\alpha} emission maps for a representative sample of 54 local U/LIRGs (66 galaxies). From this initial sample we select 26 objects with H{\alpha} luminosities (L(H{\alpha})) similar to those of massive (i.e. M\ast \sim 10^10 M\odot or larger) SFGs at z \sim 2, and observed on similar physical scales. Results. The sizes of the H{\alpha} emitting region in the sample of local U/LIRGs span a large range, with r1/2(H{\alpha}) from 0.2 to 7 kpc. However, about 2/3 of local U/LIRGs with Lir > 10^11.4 L\odot have compact H{\alpha} emission (i.e. r1/2 < 2 kpc). The comparison sample of local U/LIRGs also shows a higher fraction (59%) of objects with compact H{\alpha} emission than the high-z sample (25%). This gives further support to the idea that for this luminosity range the size of the star forming region is a distinctive factor between local and distant galaxies of similar SF rates. However, when using H{\alpha} as a tracer for both local and high-z samples, the differences are smaller than the ones recently reported using a variety of other tracers. Despite of the higher fraction of galaxies with compact H{\alpha} emission, a sizable group (\sim 1/3) of local U/LIRGs are large (i.e. r1/2 > 2 kpc). These are systems showing pre-coalescence merger activity and they are indistinguishable from the massive high-z SFGs galaxies in terms of their H{\alpha} sizes, and luminosity and SFR surface densities.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics

Publication Stats

2k Citations
480.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2012-2015
    • Centro de Astrobiología
      • Department of Astrophysics
      Torrejon de Ardos, Madrid, Spain
  • 2005-2014
    • Spanish National Research Council
      • Institute for the Structure of Matter
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2007-2011
    • Instituto de Estructura de la Materia
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 1987-2009
    • Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2001-2008
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1991
    • National Research Council
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 1988
    • The University of Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom