Environmental effects in the interaction and merging of galaxies in zCOSMOS

Kampczyk, P, Lilly, S J, de Ravel, L, Le Fèvre, O, Bolzonella, M, Carollo, C M, Diener, C, Knobel, C, Kovač, K, Maier, C, Renzini, A, Sargent, M T, Vergani, D, Abbas, U, Bardelli, S, Bongiorno, A, Bordoloi, R, Caputi, K, Contini, T, Coppa, G, Cucciati, O, de la Torre, S, Franzetti, P, Garilli, B, Iovino, A, Kneib, J -P, Koekemoer, A M, Lamareille, F, Le Borgne, J -F, Le Brun, V, Leauthaud, A, Mainieri, V, Mignoli, M, Pello, R, Peng, Y, Perez Montero, E, Ricciardelli, E, Scodeggio, M, Silverman, J D, Tanaka, M, Tasca, L, Tresse, L, Zamorani, G, Zucca, E, Bottini, D, Cappi, A, Cassata, P, Cimatti, A, Fumana, M, Guzzo, L, Kartaltepe, J, Marinoni, C, McCracken, H J, Memeo, P, Meneux, B, Oesch, P, Porciani, C, Pozzetti, L and Scaramella, R (2013) Environmental effects in the interaction and merging of galaxies in zCOSMOS. Astrophysical Journal, 762 (1). p. 43. ISSN 0004-637X

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Abstract

We analyze the environments and galactic properties (morphologies and star-formation histories) of a sample of 153 close kinematic pairs in the redshift range 0.2 < z < 1 identified in the zCOSMOS-bright 10k spectroscopic sample of galaxies. Correcting for projection effects, the fraction of close kinematic pairs is three times higher in the top density quartile than in the lowest one. This translates to a three times higher merger rate because the merger timescales are shown, from mock catalogues based on the Millennium simulation, to be largely independent of environment once the same corrections for projection is applied. We then examine the morphologies and stellar populations of galaxies in the pairs, comparing them to control samples that are carefully matched in environment so as to remove as much as possible the well-known effects of environment on the properties of the parent population of galaxies. Once the environment is properly taken into account in this way, we find that the early-late morphology mix is the same as for the parent population, but that the fraction of irregular galaxies is boosted by 50-75%, with a disproportionate increase in the number of irregular-irregular pairs (factor of 4-8 times), due to the disturbance of disk galaxies. Future dry-mergers, involving elliptical galaxies comprise less than 5% of all close kinematic pairs. In the closest pairs, there is a boost in the specific star-formation rates of star-forming galaxies of a factor of 2-4, and there is also evidence for an increased incidence of post star-burst galaxies. Although significant for the galaxies involved, the "excess" star-formation associated with pairs represents only about 5% of the integrated star-formation activity in the parent sample. Although most pair galaxies are in dense environments, the effects of interaction appear to be largest in the lower density environments.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: galaxies: evolution, galaxies: general, galaxies: interactions, galaxies: starburst
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Mark Sargent
Date Deposited: 21 May 2014 13:44
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2017 02:58
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/48761

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