Role of galaxy mergers in cosmic star formation history

Thumbnail Image
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Shi, Yong
Rieke, George
Lotz, Jennifer
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
American Astronomical Society
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
We present a morphology study of intermediate-redshift (0.2 < z < 1.2) luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) and general field galaxies in the GOODS fields using a revised asymmetry measurement method optimized for deep fields. By taking careful account of the importance of the underlying sky-background structures, our new method does not suffer from systematic bias and offers small uncertainties. By redshifting local LIRGs and low-redshift GOODS galaxies to different higher redshifts, we have found that the redshift dependence of the galaxy asymmetry due to surface-brightness dimming is a function of the asymmetry itself, with larger corrections for more asymmetric objects. By applying redshift-, infrared (IR)-luminosity- and optical-brightness-dependent asymmetry corrections, we have found that intermediate-redshift LIRGs generally show highly asymmetric morphologies, with implied merger fractions ~50% up to z = 1.2, although they are slightly more symmetric than local LIRGs. For general field galaxies, we find an almost constant relatively high merger fraction (20%-30%). The B-band luminosity functions (LFs) of galaxy mergers are derived at different redshifts up to z = 1.2 and confirm the weak evolution of the merger fraction after breaking the luminosity-density degeneracy. The IR LFs of galaxy mergers are also derived, indicating a larger merger fraction at higher IR luminosity. The integral of the merger IR LFs indicates a dramatic evolution of the merger-induced IR energy density [(1 + z)^~(5-6)], and that galaxy mergers start to dominate the cosmic IR energy density at z greater than or ~ 1.
© 2009 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. We thank the anonymous referee for detailed comments. Support for this work was provided by NASA through contract 1255094 issued by JPL/California Institute of Technology. J.M.L. acknowledges support from Leo Goldberg Fellowship sponsored by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. P.G.P.-G. acknowledges support from the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grants AYA 2006– 02358 and AYA 2006–15698–C02–02, and from the Ramón y Cajal Program financed by the Spanish Government and the European Union.
Unesco subjects
Abraham, R. G., Valdes, F., Yee, H. K. C., & van den Bergh, S. 1994, ApJ, 432, 75 Abraham, R. G., van den Bergh, S., Glazebrook, K., Ellis, R. S., Santiago, B. X., Surma, P., & Griffiths, R. E. 1996, ApJS, 107, 1 Abraham, R. G., van den Bergh, S., & Nair, P. 2003, ApJ, 588, 218 Bell, E. F., et al. 2005, ApJ, 625, 23 Bershady, M. A., Jangren, A., & Conselice, C. J. 2000, AJ, 119, 2645 Bertin, E., & Arnouts, S. 1996, A&AS, 117, 393 Blanton, M. R., & Roweis, S. 2007, AJ, 133, 734 Blanton, M. R., et al. 2003, AJ, 125, 2348 Bridge, C. R., et al. 2007, ApJ, 659, 931 Brinchmann, J., et al. 1998, ApJ, 499, 112 Bundy, K., Fukugita, M., Ellis, R. S., Kodama, T., & Conselice, C. J. 2004, ApJ, 601, L123 Cassata, P., et al. 2005, MNRAS, 357, 903 Conselice, C. J., Bershady, M. A., Dickinson, M., & Papovich, C. 2003, AJ, 126, 1183 Conselice, C. J., Bershady, M. A., & Jangren, A. 2000, ApJ, 529, 886 Conselice, C. J., Blackburne, J. A., & Papovich, C. 2005, ApJ, 620, 564 Cowie, L. L., & Barger, A. J. 2008, ApJ, 686, 72 Cross, N. J. G., Driver, S. P., Liske, J., Lemon, D. J., Peacock, J. A., Cole, S., Norberg, P., & Sutherland, W. J. 2004, MNRAS, 349, 576 Daddi, E., Dannerbauer, H., Elbaz, D., Dickinson, M., Morrison, G., Stern, D., & Ravindranath, S. 2008, ApJ, 673, L21 De Propris, R., Conselice, C. J., Liske, J., Driver, S. P., Patton, D. R., Graham, A. W., & Allen, P. D. 2007, ApJ, 666, 212 de Ravel, L., et al. 2008, arXiv:0807.2578 Faber, S. M., et al. 2007, ApJ, 665, 265 Frei, Z., Guhathakurta, P., Gunn, J. E., & Tyson, J. A. 1996, AJ, 111, 174 Giavalisco, M., et al. 2004, ApJ, 600, L93 Gordon, K. D., et al. 2005, PASP, 117, 503 Kent, S. M. 1985, ApJS, 59, 115 Le Floc’h, E., et al. 2005, ApJ, 632, 169 Le Fèvre, O., et al. 2000, MNRAS, 311, 565 Lin, L., et al. 2008, ApJ, 681, 232 Lotz, J. M., Jonsson, P., Cox, T. J., & Primack, J. R. 2008a, MNRAS, 391, 1137 Lotz, J. M., Primack, J., & Madau, P. 2004, AJ, 128, 163 Lotz, J. M., et al. 2008b, ApJ, 672, 177 Melbourne, J., et al. 2008, AJ, 135, 1207 Mihos, J. C., & Hernquist, L. 1996, ApJ, 464, 641 Papovich, C., Giavalisco, M., Dickinson, M., Conselice, C. J., & Ferguson, H. C. 2003, ApJ, 598, 827 Papovich, C., et al. 2004, ApJS, 154, 70 Patton, D. R., et al. 2002, ApJ, 565, 208 Pérez González, P. G., et al. 2005, ApJ, 630, 82 Pérez González, P. G., et al. 2008, ApJ, 675, 234 Petrosian, V. 1976, ApJ, 209, L1 Popesso, P., et al. 2009, A&A, 494, 443 Neichel, B., et al. 2008, A&A, 484, 159 Noeske, K. G., et al. 2007, ApJ, 660, L47 Rieke, G. H., Alonso Herrero, A., Weiner, B. J., Pérez González, P. G., Blaylock, M., Donley, J. L., & Marcillac, D. 2009, ApJ, 692, 556 Sanders, D. B., Mazzarella, J. M., Kim, D.-C., Surace, J. A., & Soifer, B. T. 2003, AJ, 126, 1607 Sanders, D. B., & Mirabel, I. F. 1996, ARA&A, 34, 749 Schmidt, M. 1968, ApJ, 151, 393 Shi, Y., Rieke, G., Donley, J., Cooper, M., Willmer, C., & Kirby, E. 2008, ApJ, 688, 794 Shi, Y., Rieke, G. H., Papovich, C., Pérez González, P. G., & Le Floc’h, E. 2006, ApJ, 645, 199 Springel, V., et al. 2005, Nature, 435, 629 Vanzella, E., et al. 2008, A&A, 478, 83 Yang, Y., et al. 2008, A&A, 477, 789 Zheng, X. Z., Hammer, F., Flores, H., Assémat, F., & Pelat, D. 2004, A&A, 421, 847