The SLUGGS Survey: wide-field stellar kinematics of early-type galaxies

Jacob A. Arnold, Aaron J. Romanowsky, Jean P. Brodie, Duncan A. Forbes, Jay Strader, Lee R. Spitler, Caroline Foster, Christina Blom, Sreeja S. Kartha, Nicola Pastorello, Vincenzo Pota, Christopher Usher, Kristin A. Woodley

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    We present stellar kinematics of 22 nearby early-type galaxies (ETGs), based on two-dimensional (2D) absorption line stellar spectroscopy out to ∼2-4 R e (effective radii), as part of the ongoing SLUGGS Survey. The galaxies span a factor of 20 in intrinsic luminosity, as well as a full range of environment and ETG morphology. Our data consist of good velocity resolution (σinst ∼ 25 km s-1) integrated stellar-light spectra extracted from the individual slitlets of custom made Keck/DEIMOS slitmasks. We extract stellar kinematics measurements (V, σ, h 3, and h 4) for each galaxy. Combining with literature values from smaller radii, we present 2D spatially resolved maps of the large-scale kinematic structure in each galaxy. We find that the kinematic homogeneity found inside 1 R e often breaks down at larger radii, where a variety of kinematic behaviors are observed. While central slow rotators remain slowly rotating in their halos, central fast rotators show more diversity, ranging from rapidly increasing to rapidly declining specific angular momentum profiles in the outer regions. There are indications that the outer trends depend on morphological type, raising questions about the proposed unification of the elliptical and lenticular (S0) galaxy families in the ATLAS3D survey. Several galaxies in our sample show multiple lines of evidence for distinct disk components embedded in more slowly rotating spheroids, and we suggest a joint photometric-kinematic approach for robust bulge-disk decomposition. Our observational results appear generally consistent with a picture of two-phase (in-situ plus accretion) galaxy formation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number80
    Pages (from-to)1-27
    Number of pages27
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2014 The American Astronomical Society. First published in The Astrophysical Journal, 791(2), 80, 2014. The original publication is available at, published by IOP Publishing. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
    • galaxies: formation
    • galaxies: halos
    • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
    • galaxies: structure


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