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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents



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ID: 559422.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
The Merger-driven evolution of massive galaxies
Authors:Robaina, Aday R.; Bell, Eric F.; van der Wel, Arjen; Somerville, Rachel S.; Skelton, Rosalind E.; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Meisenheimer, Klaus; Wolf, Christian
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2010
Title of Journal:The Astrophysical Journal
Journal Abbrev.:The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:719
Issue / Number:1
Start Page:844
End Page:850
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:We explore the rate and impact of galaxy mergers on the massive galaxy population using the amplitude of the two-point correlation function on small scales for M * > 5 × 1010 M sun galaxies from the COSMOS and COMBO-17 surveys. Using a pair fraction derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey as a low-redshift benchmark, the large survey area at intermediate redshifts allows us to determine the evolution of the close-pair fraction with unprecedented accuracy for a mass-selected sample: we find that the fraction of galaxies more massive than 5 × 1010 M sun in pairs separated by less than 30 kpc in three-dimensional space evolves as F(z) = (0.0130 ± 0.0019) × (1 + z)1.21± 0.25 between z = 0 and z = 1.2. Assuming a merger timescale of 0.5 Gyr, the inferred merger rate is such that galaxies with mass in excess of 1011 M sun have undergone, on average, 0.5 (0.7) mergers involving progenitor galaxies both more massive than 5 × 1010 M sun since z = 0.6 (1.2). We also study the number density evolution of massive red sequence galaxies using published luminosity functions and constraints on the M/L B evolution from the fundamental plane. Moreover, we demonstrate that the measured merger rate of massive galaxies is sufficient to explain this observed number density evolution in massive red sequence galaxies since z = 1.
Free Keywords:galaxies: elliptical and lenticular; cD; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: general; galaxies: interactions; galaxies: statistics
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
Identifiers:URL:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ApJ...719..844R [ID No:1]
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