The KMOS3D Survey: Design, First Results, and the Evolution of Galaxy Kinematics from 0.7≤ z ≤ 2.7

E. Wisnioski, N. M. Förster Schreiber, S. Wuyts, E. Wuyts, K. Bandara, D. Wilman, R. Genzel, R. Bender, R. Davies, M. Fossati, P. Lang, J. T. Mendel, A. Beifiori, G. Brammer, J. Chan, M. Fabricius, Y. Fudamoto, S. Kulkarni, J. Kurk, D. LutzE. J. Nelson, I. Momcheva, D. Rosario, R. Saglia, S. Seitz, L. J. Tacconi, P. G. van Dokkum

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We present the KMOS3D survey, a new integral field survey of over 600 galaxies at 0.7 < z < 2.7 using KMOS at the Very Large Telescope. The KMOS3D survey utilizes synergies with multi-wavelength ground- and space-based surveys to trace the evolution of spatially resolved kinematics and star formation from a homogeneous sample over 5 Gyr of cosmic history. Targets, drawn from a mass-selected parent sample from the 3D-HST survey, cover the star formation-stellar mass (M *) and rest-frame (U – V) – M * planes uniformly. We describe the selection of targets, the observations, and the data reduction. In the first-year of data we detect Hα emission in 191 M * = 3 × 109-7 × 1011 M ☉ galaxies at z = 0.7-1.1 and z = 1.9-2.7. In the current sample 83% of the resolved galaxies are rotation dominated, determined from a continuous velocity gradient and v rot/σ0 > 1, implying that the star-forming "main sequence" is primarily composed of rotating galaxies at both redshift regimes. When considering additional stricter criteria, the Hα kinematic maps indicate that at least ~70% of the resolved galaxies are disk-like systems. Our high-quality KMOS data confirm the elevated velocity dispersions reported in previous integral field spectroscopy studies at z gsim 0.7. For rotation-dominated disks, the average intrinsic velocity dispersion decreases by a factor of two from 50 km s–1at z ~ 2.3 to 25 km s–1at z ~ 0.9. Combined with existing results spanning z ~ 0-3, we show that disk velocity dispersions follow an evolution that is consistent with the dependence of velocity dispersion on gas fractions predicted by marginally stable disk theory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number209
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • infrared: galaxies


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