We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Simulated stellar kinematics studies of high-redshift galaxies with the HARMONI Integral Field Spectrograph.

Kendrew, S. and Zieleniewski, S. and Houghton, R. C. W. and Thatte, N. and Devriendt, J. and Tecza, M. and Clarke, F. and O'Brien, K. and Häußler, B. (2016) 'Simulated stellar kinematics studies of high-redshift galaxies with the HARMONI Integral Field Spectrograph.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 458 (3). pp. 2405-2422.


We present a study into the capabilities of integrated and spatially resolved integral field spectroscopy of galaxies at z = 2–4 with the future HARMONI spectrograph for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) using the simulation pipeline, HSIM. We focus particularly on the instrument's capabilities in stellar absorption line integral field spectroscopy, which will allow us to study the stellar kinematics and stellar population characteristics. Such measurements for star-forming and passive galaxies around the peak star formation era will provide a critical insight into the star formation, quenching and mass assembly history of high-z, and thus present-day galaxies. First, we perform a signal-to-noise study for passive galaxies at a range of stellar masses for z = 2–4, assuming different light profiles; for this population, we estimate that integrated stellar absorption line spectroscopy with HARMONI will be limited to galaxies with M* ≳ 1010.7 M⊙. Secondly, we use HSIM to perform a mock observation of a typical star-forming 1010 M⊙ galaxy at z = 3 generated from the high-resolution cosmological simulation NUTFB. We demonstrate that the input stellar kinematics of the simulated galaxy can be accurately recovered from the integrated spectrum in a 15-h observation, using common analysis tools. Whilst spatially resolved spectroscopy is likely to remain out of reach for this particular galaxy, we estimate HARMONI's performance limits in this regime from our findings. This study demonstrates how instrument simulators such as HSIM can be used to quantify instrument performance and study observational biases on kinematics retrieval; and shows the potential of making observational predictions from cosmological simulation output data.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:22 February 2016
Date deposited:18 April 2018
Date of first online publication:22 February 2016
Date first made open access:18 April 2018

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar