The Fundamental Plane of evolving red nuggets

Oldham, L., Auger, M., Fassnacht, C. D., Treu, T., Koopmans, L. V. E., Lagattuta, D., McKean, J. & Vegetti, S., 1-Sep-2017, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 470, 3, p. 3497-3506 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

We present an exploration of the mass structure of a sample of 12 strongly lensed massive, compact early-type galaxies at redshifts z ∼ 0.6 to provide further possible evidence for their inside-out growth. We obtain new Echelette Spectrograph and Imager/Keck spectroscopy and infer the kinematics of both lens and source galaxies, and combine these with existing photometry to construct (a) the Fundamental Plane (FP) of the source galaxies and (b) physical models for their dark and luminous mass structure. We find their FP to be tilted towards the virial plane relative to the local FP, and attribute this to their unusual compactness, which causes their kinematics to be totally dominated by the stellar mass as opposed to their dark matter; that their FP is nevertheless still inconsistent with the virial plane implies that both the stellar and dark structure of early-type galaxies is non-homologous. We also find the intrinsic scatter of their FP to be comparable to the local value, indicating that variations in the stellar mass structure outweigh variations in the dark halo in the central regions of early-type galaxies. Finally, we show that inference on the dark halo structure - and, in turn, the underlying physics - is sensitive to assumptions about the stellar initial mass function (IMF), but that physically motivated assumptions about the IMF imply haloes with sub-Navarro-Frenk-White inner density slopes, and may present further evidence for the inside-out growth of compact early-type galaxies via minor mergers and accretion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3497-3506
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2017


  • gravitational lensing: strong - galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: structure, ESTIMATOR, FEEDBACK, EARLY-TYPE GALAXIES, INITIAL MASS FUNCTION, DARK-MATTER HALOS, ELLIPTIC GALAXIES, STELLAR POPULATION, CLUSTERS, CONTRACTION, PROFILES

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