The physical connection between central stellar surface density and stellar spin in SAMI and MaNGA nearby galaxies

L. Cortese, A. Fraser-Mckelvie, J. Woo, B. Catinella, K. E. Harborne, J. Van De Sande, J. Bland-Hawthorn, S. Brough, J. J. Bryant, S. Croom, S. Sweet

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The stellar surface density within the inner 1 kpc (ς1) has become a popular tool for understanding the growth of galaxies and its connection with the quenching of star formation. The emerging picture suggests that building a central dense core is a necessary condition for quenching. However, it is not clear whether changes in ς1 trace changes in stellar kinematics and the growth of dispersion-dominated bulges. In this paper, we combine imaging from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with stellar kinematics from the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral-field unit and Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory surveys to quantify the correlation between ς1 and the proxy for stellar spin parameter within one effective radius (λre) for 1599 nearby galaxies. We show that, on the star-forming main sequence and at fixed stellar mass, changes in ς1 are mirrored by changes in λre. While forming stars, main-sequence galaxies remain rotationally-dominated systems, with their ς1 increasing but their stellar spin staying either constant or slightly increasing. The picture changes below the main sequence, where ς1 and λre are no longer correlated. Passive systems show a narrower range of ς1, but a wider range of λre compared to star-forming galaxies. Our results indicate that, from a structural point of view, passive galaxies are a more heterogeneous population than star-forming systems, and may have followed a variety of evolutionary paths. This also suggests that, if dispersion-dominated bulges still grow significantly at z ∼0, this generally takes place during, or after, the quenching phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3709-3718
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


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