Redshift evolution of the dynamical properties of massive galaxies from SDSS-III/BOSS

Alessandra Beifiori, Daniel Thomas, Claudia Maraston, Oliver Steele, Karen L. Masters, Janine Pforr, Roberto P. Saglia, Ralf Bender, Rita Tojeiro, Yan-Mei Chen, Adam Bolton, Joel R. Brownstein, Jonas Johansson, Alexie Leauthaud, Robert C. Nichol, Donald P. Schneider, Robert Senger, Ramin Skibba, David Wake, Kaike PanStephanie Snedden, Dmitry Bizyaev, Howard Brewington, Viktor Malanushenko, Elena Malanushenko, Daniel Oravetz, Audrey Simmons, Alaina Shelden, Garrett Ebelke

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36 Citations (Scopus)


We study the redshift evolution of the dynamical properties of ~180, 000 massive galaxies from SDSS-III/BOSS combined with a local early-type galaxy sample from SDSS-II in the redshift range 0.1 ≤ z ≤ 0.6. The typical stellar mass of this sample is M∗ ~2 × 1011 M. We analyze the evolution of the galaxy parameters effective radius, stellar velocity dispersion, and the dynamical to stellar mass ratio with redshift. As the effective radii of BOSS galaxies at these redshifts are not well resolved in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging we calibrate the SDSS size measurements with Hubble Space Telescope/COSMOS photometry for a sub-sample of galaxies. We further apply a correction for progenitor bias to build a sample which consists of a coeval, passively evolving population. Systematic errors due to size correction and the calculation of dynamical mass are assessed through Monte Carlo simulations. At fixed stellar or dynamical mass, we find moderate evolution in galaxy size and stellar velocity dispersion, in agreement with previous studies. We show that this results in a decrease of the dynamical to stellar mass ratio with redshift at >2σ significance. By combining our sample with high-redshift literature data, we find that this evolution of the dynamical to stellar mass ratio continues beyond z ~ 0.7 up to z > 2 as Mdyn/M* ~(1 + z)−0.30 ± 0.12, further strengthening the evidence for an increase of Mdyn/M* with cosmic time. This result is in line with recent predictions from galaxy formation simulations based on minor merger driven mass growth, in which the dark matter fraction within the half-light radius increases with cosmic time.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Early online date18 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2014


  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • cD
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics


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