A kinematically distinct core and minor-axis rotation: the MUSE perspective on M87

Eric Emsellem, Davor Krajnovic, Marc Sarzi

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We present evidence for the presence of a low-amplitude kinematically distinct component in the giant early-type galaxy M87, via data sets obtained with the SAURON and MUSE integral-field spectroscopic units. The MUSE velocity field reveals a strong twist of ∼140° within the central 30 arcsec connecting outwards such a kinematically distinct core to a prolate-like rotation around the large-scale photometric major axis of the galaxy. The existence of these kinematic features within the apparently round central regions of M87 implies a non-axisymmetric and complex shape for this galaxy, which could be further constrained using the presented kinematics. The associated orbital structure should be interpreted together with other tracers of the gravitational potential probed at larger scales (e.g. globular clusters, ultra-compact dwarfs, planetary nebulae): it would offer an insight in the assembly history of one of the brightest galaxies in the Virgo cluster. These data also demonstrate the potential of the MUSE spectrograph to uncover low-amplitude spectral signatures
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L79-L83
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Early online date22 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2014


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