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Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): galaxy close pairs, mergers and the future fate of stellar mass

Robotham, A. S. G.; Driver, S. P.; Davies, L. J. M.; Hopkins, A. M.; Baldry, I. K.; Agius, N. K.; Bauer, A. E.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Brough, S.; Brown, M. J. I.; Cluver, M.; De Propris, R.; Drinkwater, M. J.; Holwerda, B. W.; Kelvin, L. S.; Lara-Lopez, M. A.; Liske, J.; López-Sánchez, Á. R.; Loveday, J.; Mahajan, S.; McNaught-Roberts, T.; Moffett, A.; Norberg, P.; Obreschkow, D.; Owers, M. S.; Penny, S. J.; Pimbblet, K.; Prescott, M.; Taylor, E. N.; van Kampen, E.; Wilkins, S. M.; Agius, Nicola; Baldry, Ivan; Hopkins, Andrew; Cluver, Michelle; Davies, Luke; De Propris, Roberto; Drinkwater, Mic; Driver, Simon; Brough, Sarah; Bauer, Amanda; Brown, Michael; Robotham, Aaron

Authors

A. S. G. Robotham

S. P. Driver

L. J. M. Davies

A. M. Hopkins

I. K. Baldry

N. K. Agius

A. E. Bauer

J. Bland-Hawthorn

S. Brough

M. J. I. Brown

M. Cluver

R. De Propris

M. J. Drinkwater

B. W. Holwerda

L. S. Kelvin

M. A. Lara-Lopez

J. Liske

Á. R. López-Sánchez

J. Loveday

S. Mahajan

T. McNaught-Roberts

A. Moffett

P. Norberg

D. Obreschkow

M. S. Owers

S. J. Penny

M. Prescott

E. N. Taylor

E. van Kampen

S. M. Wilkins

Nicola Agius

Ivan Baldry

Andrew Hopkins

Michelle Cluver

Luke Davies

Roberto De Propris

Mic Drinkwater

Simon Driver

Sarah Brough

Amanda Bauer

Michael Brown

Aaron Robotham

Abstract

We use a highly complete subset of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly II (GAMA-II) redshift sample to fully describe the stellar mass dependence of close pairs and mergers between 10⁸ and 10¹² Mʘ. Using the analytic form of this fit we investigate the total stellar mass accreting on to more massive galaxies across all mass ratios. Depending on how conservatively we select our robust merging systems, the fraction of mass merging on to more massive companions is 2.0–5.6 per cent. Using the GAMA-II data we see no significant evidence for a change in the close pair fraction between redshift z = 0.05 and 0.2. However, we find a systematically higher fraction of galaxies in similar mass close pairs compared to published results over a similar redshift baseline. Using a compendium of data and the function γ M = A(1 + z) m to predict the major close pair fraction, we find fitting parameters of A = 0.021 ± 0.001 and m = 1.53 ± 0.08, which represents a higher low-redshift normalization and shallower power-law slope than recent literature values. We find that the relative importance of in situ star formation versus galaxy merging is inversely correlated, with star formation dominating the addition of stellar material below M∗ and merger accretion events dominating beyond M∗. We find mergers have a measurable impact on the whole extent of the galaxy stellar mass function (GSMF), manifest as a deepening of the ‘dip’ in the GSMF over the next ∼Gyr and an increase in M∗ by as much as 0.01–0.05 dex.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 11, 2014
Journal Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 444
Issue 4
Pages 3986-4008
Institution Citation Robotham, A. S. G., Driver, S. P., Davies, L. J. M., Hopkins, A. M., Baldry, I. K., Agius, N. K., …Wilkins, S. M. (2014). Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): galaxy close pairs, mergers and the future fate of stellar mass. Monthly notices, containing papers, abstracts of papers, and reports of the proceedings of the Society, 444(4), 3986-4008. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1604
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1604
Keywords Galaxies -- evolution, Galaxies -- fundamental parameters, Galaxies -- interactions, Galaxies -- kinematics and dynamics, Galaxies -- luminosity function, mass content, Galaxies -- stellar content
Publisher URL http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/444/4/3986.abstract
Additional Information This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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Copyright Statement
© 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society



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