Cosmic clocks: A tight radius-velocity relationship for HI-selected galaxies

Gerhardt R. Meurer, Danail Obreschkow, O. Ivy Wong, Zheng Zheng, Fiona M. Audcent-Ross, D. J. Hanish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

HI-selected galaxies obey a linear relationship between their maximum detected radius Rmax and rotational velocity. This result covers measurements in the optical, ultraviolet, and HI emission in galaxies spanning a factor of 30 in size and velocity, from small dwarf irregulars to the largest spirals. Hence, galaxies behave as clocks, rotating once a Gyr at the very outskirts of their discs. Observations of a large optically selected sample are consistent, implying this relationship is generic to disc galaxies in the low redshift Universe. A linear radius-velocity relationship is expected from simple models of galaxy formation and evolution. The total mass within Rmax has collapsed by a factor of 37 compared to the present mean density of the Universe. Adopting standard assumptions, we find a mean halo spin parameter λ in the range 0.020-0.035. The dispersion in λ, 0.16 dex, is smaller than expected from simulations. This may be due to the biases in our selection of disc galaxies rather than all haloes. The estimated mass densities of stars and atomic gas at Rmax are similar (∼0.5M⊙ pc-2), indicating outer discs are highly evolved. The gas consumption and stellar population build time-scales are hundreds of Gyr, hence star formation is not driving the current evolution of outer discs. The estimated ratio between Rmax and disc scalelength is consistent with long-standing predictions from monolithic collapse models. Hence, it remains unclear whether disc extent results from continual accretion, a rapid initial collapse, secular evolution, or a combination thereof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1624-1636
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume476
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2018

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clocks
galaxies
radii
disk galaxies
halos
gas
universe
accretion
monatomic gases
ultraviolet emission
timescale
galactic evolution
gases
light emission
star formation
prediction
simulation
stars
predictions
parameter

Cite this

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title = "Cosmic clocks: A tight radius-velocity relationship for HI-selected galaxies",
abstract = "HI-selected galaxies obey a linear relationship between their maximum detected radius Rmax and rotational velocity. This result covers measurements in the optical, ultraviolet, and HI emission in galaxies spanning a factor of 30 in size and velocity, from small dwarf irregulars to the largest spirals. Hence, galaxies behave as clocks, rotating once a Gyr at the very outskirts of their discs. Observations of a large optically selected sample are consistent, implying this relationship is generic to disc galaxies in the low redshift Universe. A linear radius-velocity relationship is expected from simple models of galaxy formation and evolution. The total mass within Rmax has collapsed by a factor of 37 compared to the present mean density of the Universe. Adopting standard assumptions, we find a mean halo spin parameter λ in the range 0.020-0.035. The dispersion in λ, 0.16 dex, is smaller than expected from simulations. This may be due to the biases in our selection of disc galaxies rather than all haloes. The estimated mass densities of stars and atomic gas at Rmax are similar (∼0.5M⊙ pc-2), indicating outer discs are highly evolved. The gas consumption and stellar population build time-scales are hundreds of Gyr, hence star formation is not driving the current evolution of outer discs. The estimated ratio between Rmax and disc scalelength is consistent with long-standing predictions from monolithic collapse models. Hence, it remains unclear whether disc extent results from continual accretion, a rapid initial collapse, secular evolution, or a combination thereof.",
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Cosmic clocks : A tight radius-velocity relationship for HI-selected galaxies. / Meurer, Gerhardt R.; Obreschkow, Danail; Wong, O. Ivy; Zheng, Zheng; Audcent-Ross, Fiona M.; Hanish, D. J.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 476, No. 2, 11.05.2018, p. 1624-1636.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cosmic clocks

T2 - A tight radius-velocity relationship for HI-selected galaxies

AU - Meurer, Gerhardt R.

AU - Obreschkow, Danail

AU - Wong, O. Ivy

AU - Zheng, Zheng

AU - Audcent-Ross, Fiona M.

AU - Hanish, D. J.

PY - 2018/5/11

Y1 - 2018/5/11

N2 - HI-selected galaxies obey a linear relationship between their maximum detected radius Rmax and rotational velocity. This result covers measurements in the optical, ultraviolet, and HI emission in galaxies spanning a factor of 30 in size and velocity, from small dwarf irregulars to the largest spirals. Hence, galaxies behave as clocks, rotating once a Gyr at the very outskirts of their discs. Observations of a large optically selected sample are consistent, implying this relationship is generic to disc galaxies in the low redshift Universe. A linear radius-velocity relationship is expected from simple models of galaxy formation and evolution. The total mass within Rmax has collapsed by a factor of 37 compared to the present mean density of the Universe. Adopting standard assumptions, we find a mean halo spin parameter λ in the range 0.020-0.035. The dispersion in λ, 0.16 dex, is smaller than expected from simulations. This may be due to the biases in our selection of disc galaxies rather than all haloes. The estimated mass densities of stars and atomic gas at Rmax are similar (∼0.5M⊙ pc-2), indicating outer discs are highly evolved. The gas consumption and stellar population build time-scales are hundreds of Gyr, hence star formation is not driving the current evolution of outer discs. The estimated ratio between Rmax and disc scalelength is consistent with long-standing predictions from monolithic collapse models. Hence, it remains unclear whether disc extent results from continual accretion, a rapid initial collapse, secular evolution, or a combination thereof.

AB - HI-selected galaxies obey a linear relationship between their maximum detected radius Rmax and rotational velocity. This result covers measurements in the optical, ultraviolet, and HI emission in galaxies spanning a factor of 30 in size and velocity, from small dwarf irregulars to the largest spirals. Hence, galaxies behave as clocks, rotating once a Gyr at the very outskirts of their discs. Observations of a large optically selected sample are consistent, implying this relationship is generic to disc galaxies in the low redshift Universe. A linear radius-velocity relationship is expected from simple models of galaxy formation and evolution. The total mass within Rmax has collapsed by a factor of 37 compared to the present mean density of the Universe. Adopting standard assumptions, we find a mean halo spin parameter λ in the range 0.020-0.035. The dispersion in λ, 0.16 dex, is smaller than expected from simulations. This may be due to the biases in our selection of disc galaxies rather than all haloes. The estimated mass densities of stars and atomic gas at Rmax are similar (∼0.5M⊙ pc-2), indicating outer discs are highly evolved. The gas consumption and stellar population build time-scales are hundreds of Gyr, hence star formation is not driving the current evolution of outer discs. The estimated ratio between Rmax and disc scalelength is consistent with long-standing predictions from monolithic collapse models. Hence, it remains unclear whether disc extent results from continual accretion, a rapid initial collapse, secular evolution, or a combination thereof.

KW - Galaxies: dwarf

KW - Galaxies: fundamental parameters

KW - Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

KW - Galaxies: spiral

KW - Galaxies: structure

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DO - 10.1093/mnras/sty275

M3 - Article

VL - 476

SP - 1624

EP - 1636

JO - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

JF - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

SN - 0035-8711

IS - 2

ER -