Bivariate galaxy luminosity functions in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Ball, N M, Loveday, J, Brunner, R J, Baldry, I K and Brinkmann, J (2006) Bivariate galaxy luminosity functions in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 373 (2). pp. 845-868. ISSN 0035-8711

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Bivariate luminosity functions (LFs) are computed for galaxies in the New York Value-Added Galaxy Catalogue, based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4. The galaxy properties investigated are the morphological type, inverse concentration index, Sérsic index, absolute effective surface brightness (SB), reference frame colours, absolute radius, eClass spectral type, stellar mass and galaxy environment. The morphological sample is flux limited to galaxies with r < 15.9 and consists of 37 047 classifications to an rms accuracy of ± half a class in the sequence E, S0, Sa, Sb, Sc, Sd, Im. These were assigned by an artificial neural network, based on a training set of 645 eyeball classifications. The other samples use r < 17.77 with a median redshift of z∼ 0.08, and a limiting redshift of z < 0.15 to minimize the effects of evolution. Other cuts, for example in axis ratio, are made to minimize biases. A wealth of detail is seen, with clear variations between the LFs according to absolute magnitude and the second parameter. They are consistent with an early-type, bright, concentrated, red population and a late-type, faint, less concentrated, blue, star-forming population. This bimodality suggests two major underlying physical processes, which in agreement with previous authors we hypothesize to be merger and accretion, associated with the properties of bulges and discs, respectively. The bivariate luminosity–SB distribution is fit with the Chołoniewski function (a Schechter function in absolute magnitude and Gaussian in SB). The fit is found to be poor, as might be expected if there are two underlying processes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The first bivariate distributions of galaxy properties determined using a maximum-likelihood estimator unbiased by density inhomogeneities. Strong evidence for a bimodal distribution of galaxy properties was seen. Loveday worked closely with Ball, his ex-DPhil student, on this paper.
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Jonathan Loveday
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:44
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:02

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