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The influence of red spiral galaxies on the shape of the local K-band luminosity function

Bonne, Nicolas J.; Brown, Michael J. I.; Jones, Heath; Pimbblet, Kevin A.


Nicolas J. Bonne

Michael J. I. Brown

Heath Jones


We have determined K-band luminosity functions for 13,325 local universe galaxies as a function of morphology and color (for Ktot ≤ 10.75). Our sample is drawn from the Two Micron All Sky Survey Extended Source Catalog, with all sample galaxies having measured morphologies and distances (including 4219 archival redshift-independent distances). The luminosity function for our total sample is in good agreement with previous works, but is relatively smooth at faint magnitudes (due to bulk flow distance corrections). We investigated the differences due to morphological and color selection using 5417 sample galaxies with NASA Sloan Atlas optical colors and find that red spirals comprise 20%–50% of all spirals with −25 ≤ MK < −20. Fainter than MK = −24, red spirals are as common as early types, explaining the different faint end slopes (α = −0.87 and −1.00 for red and early-types, respectively). While we find red spirals comprise more than 50% of all MK < −25 spiral galaxies, they do not dominate the bright end of the overall red galaxy luminosity function, which is dominated by early-type galaxies. The brightest red spirals have ongoing star formation and those without are frequently misclassified as early-types. The faintest ones have an appearance and Sérsic indices consistent with faded disks, rather than true bulge-dominated galaxies.


Bonne, N. J., Brown, M. J. I., Jones, H., & Pimbblet, K. A. (2015). The influence of red spiral galaxies on the shape of the local K-band luminosity function. The Astrophysical journal, 799(2), Article ARTN 160.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2015
Publication Date Feb 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 18, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 18, 2015
Journal The astrophysical journal
Print ISSN 0004-637X
Electronic ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher American Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 799
Issue 2
Article Number ARTN 160
Keywords Galaxies -- evolution; Galaxies -- luminosity function; Mass function; Galaxies -- star formation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: The Astrophysical journal, 2015, v.799, no.2 ©: 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Published by Institute of Physics on behalf of the American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


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Copyright Statement
© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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