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Paper: Kinematic and Structural Evolution of Field and Cluster Spiral Galaxies
Volume: 421, Galaxies in Isolation: Exploring Nature Versus Nurture
Page: 197
Authors: Ziegler, B. L.; Kutdemir, E.; Da Rocha, C.; Böhm, A.; Peletier, R. F.; Verdugo, M.
Abstract: To understand the processes that build up galaxies we investigate the stellar structure and gas kinematics of spiral and irregular galaxies out to redshift 1. We target 92 galaxies in four cluster ( z = 0.3 & 0.5 ) fields to study the environmental influence. Their stellar masses derived from multiband VLT/FORS photometry are distributed around but mostly below the characteristic Schechter-fit mass. From HST/ACS images we determine morphologies and structural parameters like disk length, position angle and ellipticity. Combining the spectra of three slit positions per galaxy using the MXU mode of VLT/FORS2 we construct the two-dimensional velocity field from gas emission lines for 16 cluster members and 33 field galaxies. The kinematic position angle and flatness are derived by a Fourier expansion of elliptical velocity profiles. To trace possible interaction processes, we define three irregularity indicators based on an identical analysis of local galaxies from the SINGS project. Our distant sample displays a higher fraction of disturbed velocity fields with varying percentages (10%, 30% and 70%) because they trace different features. While we find far fewer candidates for major mergers than the SINS sample at z ∼ 2, our data are sensitive enough to trace less violent processes. Most irregular signatures are related to star formation events and less massive disks are affected more than Milky-Way type objects. We detect similarly high fractions of irregular objects both for the distant field and cluster galaxies with similar distributions. We conclude that we may witness the building-up of disk galaxies still at redshifts z ∼ 0.5 via minor mergers and gas accretion, while some cluster members may additionally experience stripping, evaporation or harassment interactions.
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