Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Galaxy sizes and the galaxy-halo connection - I. The remarkable tightness of the size distributions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Lorenzo Zanisi, Francesco Shankar, Andrea Lapi, Nicola Menci, Mariangela Bernardi, Christopher Duckworth, Marc Huertas-Company, Philip Grylls, Paolo Salucci

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The mass and structural assembly of galaxies is a matter of intense debate. Current theoretical models predict the existence of a linear relationship between galaxy size (Re) and the host dark matter halo virial radius (Rh). By making use of semi-empirical models compared to the size distributions of central galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we provide robust constraints on the normalization and scatter of the Re-Rh relation. We explore the parameter space of models in which the Re-Rh relation is mediated by either the spin parameter or the concentration of the host halo, or a simple constant the nature of which is in principle unknown. We find that the data require extremely tight relations for both early-type and late-type galaxies (ETGs, LTGs), especially for more massive galaxies. These constraints challenge models based solely on angular momentum conservation, which predict significantly wider distributions of galaxy sizes and no trend with stellar mass, if taken at face value. We discuss physically motivated alterations to the original models that bring the predictions into better agreement with the data. We argue that the measured tight size distributions of SDSS disc galaxies can be reproduced by semi-empirical models in which the Re-Rh connection is mediated by the stellar specific angular momenta j(star). We find that current cosmological models of galaxy formation broadly agree with our constraints for LTGs, and justify the strong link between Re and jstar that we propose, however the tightness of the Re-Rh relation found in such ab initio theoretical models for ETGs is in tension with our semi-empirical findings.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1690
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume492
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

    Research areas

  • Galaxies: disc, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: fundamental parameters, Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, Galaxies: structure

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by journal

  1. A survey for variable young stars with small telescopes: II - mapping a protoplanetary disc with stable structures at 0.15 au

    Evitts, J. J., Froebrich, D., Scholz, A., Eisloeffel, J., Campbell-White, J., Furnell, W., Stecklum, B., Urtly, T., Pickard, R., Wiersema, K., Dubovsky, P. A., Kudzej, I., Naves, R., Morales Aimar, M., Castillo Garcia, R., Vanmunster, T., Schwendeman, E., Soldan Alfaro, F. C., Johnstone, S., Gonzalez Farfan, R. & 40 others, Killestein, T., DelgadoCasal, J., Garcia de la Cuesta, F., Roberts, D., Kolb, U., Montoro, L., Licchelli, D., Escartin Perez, A., Perello Perez, C., Deldem, M., Futcher, S. R. L., Nelson, T., Dvorak, S., Mozdzierski, D., Quinn, N., Kotysz, K., Kowalska, K., Mikolajczyk, P., Fleming, G., Phillips, M., Vale, T., Dubois, F., Logie, L., Rau, S., Vanaverbeke, S., Merrikin, B., Fernandez Mananes, E., Erdelyi, E., Gonzalez Carballo, J-L., Limon Martinez, F., Long, T. P., San Segundo Delgado, A., Salto Gonzalez, J. L., Tremosa Espasa, L., Piehler, G., Crumpton, J., Billington, S. J., D'Arcy, E., Makin, S. & Dover, L., Mar 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 493, 1, p. 184-198 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Accretion of small satellites and gas inflows in a disc galaxy

    Ramón-Fox, F. G. & Aceves, H., 3 Jan 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 491, 3, p. 3908-3922 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Decoupling the rotation of stars and gas - I. The relationship with morphology and halo spin

    Duckworth, C., Tojeiro, R. & Kraljic, K., Feb 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 492, 2, p. 1869-1886

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Decoupling the rotation of stars and gas - II. The link between black hole activity and simulated IFU kinematics in IllustrisTNG

    Duckworth, C., Starkenburg, T. K., Genel, S., Davis, T. A., Habouzit, M., Kraljic, K. & Tojeiro, R., Jul 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 495, 4, p. 4542–4547

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. FLASH Early Science – discovery of an intervening HI 21-cm absorber from an ASKAP survey of the GAMA 23 field

    Allison, J. R., Sadler, E. M., Bellstedt, S., Davies, L. J. M., Driver, S. P., Ellison, S. L., Huynh, M., Kapińska, A. D., Mahony, E. K., Moss, V. A., Robotham, A. S. G., Whiting, M. T., Curran, S. J., Darling, J., Hotan, A. W., Hunstead, R. W., Koribalski, B. S., Lagos, C. D. P., Pettini, M., Pimbblet, K. A. & 1 others, Voronkov, M. A., May 2020, In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 494, 3, p. 3627-3641

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Journal)

    Ineke De Moortel (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Journal)

    Carolin Villforth (Reviewer)

    2011 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Journal)

    Christiane Helling (Editor)

    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Journal)

    Andrew Collier Cameron (Editor)

    2005 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Journal)

    Duncan Hendry Mackay (Editor)

    2003 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

ID: 266581182

Top