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Galaxies, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2015) , Pages 156-226

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Open AccessArticle
Interactions, Starbursts, and Star Formation
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 220-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040220
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 9 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
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Abstract
We study how interactions between galaxies affect star formation within them by considering a sample of almost 1500 of the nearest galaxies, all within a distance of ∼45 Mpc. We use the far-IR emission to define the massive star formation rate (SFR), and [...] Read more.
We study how interactions between galaxies affect star formation within them by considering a sample of almost 1500 of the nearest galaxies, all within a distance of ∼45 Mpc. We use the far-IR emission to define the massive star formation rate (SFR), and then normalise the SFR by the stellar mass of the galaxy to obtain the specific star formation rate (SSFR). We explore the distribution of (S)SFR with morphological type and with stellar mass. We calculate the relative enhancement of SFR and SSFR for each galaxy by normalising them by the median SFR and SSFR values of individual control samples of similar non-interacting galaxies. We find that both the median SFR and SSFR are enhanced in interacting galaxies, and more so as the degree of interaction is higher. The increase is moderate, reaching a maximum of a factor of 1.9 for the highest degree of interaction (mergers). While the SFR and SSFR are enhanced statistically by interactions, in many individual interacting galaxies they are not enhanced at all. Our study is based on a representative sample of nearby galaxies and should be used to place constraints on studies based on samples of galaxies at larger distances. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Ongoing Growth of the M87 Halo through Accretion Events
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 212-219; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040212
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 3 December 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
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Abstract
Planetary nebulas (PNs) offer a unique tool to investigate the outer regions of massive galaxies because their strong [OIII]λ5007Å emission line makes them detectable out to several effective radii from the galaxy’s centre. We use a deep and extended spectroscopic survey [...] Read more.
Planetary nebulas (PNs) offer a unique tool to investigate the outer regions of massive galaxies because their strong [OIII]λ5007Å emission line makes them detectable out to several effective radii from the galaxy’s centre. We use a deep and extended spectroscopic survey of PNs (∼300 objects) to study the spatial distribution, the kinematics and the stellar populations in the extended outer halo of the bright elliptical galaxy M87 (NGC 4486) in the Virgo cluster. We show that in the Virgo core, M87 stellar halo and the intracluster light are two distinct dynamical components, with different velocity distributions. Moreover the synergy of the PN kinematical information and the deep V/B-band photometry revealed an ongoing accretion event in the outer regions of M87. This satellite accretion represents a non-negligible perturbation of the halo properties: beyond 60 kpc the M87 halo is still growing with 60% of its light being added by the accretion event at the distance where it is detected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Creating S0s with Major Mergers: A 3D View
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 202-211; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040202
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 3 December 2015
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Abstract
A number of simulators have argued that major mergers can sometimes preserve discs, but the possibility that they could explain the emergence of lenticular galaxies (S0s) has been generally neglected. In fact, observations of S0s reveal a strong structural coupling between their bulges [...] Read more.
A number of simulators have argued that major mergers can sometimes preserve discs, but the possibility that they could explain the emergence of lenticular galaxies (S0s) has been generally neglected. In fact, observations of S0s reveal a strong structural coupling between their bulges and discs, which seems difficult to reconcile with the idea that they come from major mergers. However, in our recent papers we have used N-body simulations of binary mergers to show that, under favourable conditions, discs are first destroyed but soon regrow out of the leftover debris, matching observational photometric scaling relations. Additionally, we have shown how the merger scenario agrees with the recent discovery that S0s and most spirals are not compatible in an angular momentum–concentration plane. This important result from CALIFA constitutes a serious objection to the idea that spirals transform into S0s mainly by fading (e.g., via ram-pressure stripping, as that would not explain the observed simultaneous change in λ Re and concentration), but our simulations of major mergers do explain that mismatch. From such a 3D comparison we conclude that mergers must be a relevant process in the build-up of the current population of S0s. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Back to the Green Valley: How to Rejuvenate an S0 Galaxy through Minor Mergers
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 192-201; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040192
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 8 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
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Abstract
About half of the S0 galaxies in the nearby Universe show signatures of recent or ongoing star formation. Whether these S0 galaxies were rejuvenated by the accretion of fresh gas is still controversial. We study minor mergers of a gas-rich dwarf galaxy with [...] Read more.
About half of the S0 galaxies in the nearby Universe show signatures of recent or ongoing star formation. Whether these S0 galaxies were rejuvenated by the accretion of fresh gas is still controversial. We study minor mergers of a gas-rich dwarf galaxy with an S0 galaxy, by means of N-body smoothed-particle hydrodynamics simulations. We find that minor mergers trigger episodes of star formation in the S0 galaxy, lasting for \(\sim\)10 Gyr. One of the most important fingerprints of the merger is the formation of a gas ring in the S0 galaxy. The ring is reminiscent of the orbit of the satellite galaxy, and its lifetime depends on the merger properties: polar and counter-rotating satellite galaxies induce the formation of long-lived smooth gas rings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tidal Dwarf Galaxies: Disc Formation at \(z\simeq0\)
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 184-191; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040184
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
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Abstract
Collisional debris around interacting and post-interacting galaxies often display condensations of gas and young stars that can potentially form gravitationally bound objects: Tidal Dwarf Galaxies (TDGs). We summarise recent results on TDGs, which are originally published in Lelli et al. (2015, A&A).We study [...] Read more.
Collisional debris around interacting and post-interacting galaxies often display condensations of gas and young stars that can potentially form gravitationally bound objects: Tidal Dwarf Galaxies (TDGs). We summarise recent results on TDGs, which are originally published in Lelli et al. (2015, A&A).We study a sample of six TDGs around three different interacting systems, using high-resolution HI observations from the Very Large Array. We find that the HI emission associated to TDGs can be described by rotating disc models. These discs, however, would have undergone less than one orbit since the time of the TDG formation, raising the question of whether they are in dynamical equilibrium. Assuming that TDGs are in dynamical equilibrium, we find that the ratio of dynamical mass to baryonic mass is consistent with one, implying that TDGs are devoid of dark matter. This is in line with the results of numerical simulations where tidal forces effectively segregate dark matter in the halo from baryonic matter in the disc, which ends up forming tidal tails and TDGs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The CALIFA Survey: Exploring the Oxygen Abundance in the Local Universe
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 164-183; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040164
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
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Abstract
We present here a review of the latest results on the spatially-resolved analysis of the stellar populations and ionized gas of disk-dominated galaxies based on Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area (CALIFA) data. CALIFA is an ongoing integral field spectroscopy (IFS) survey of [...] Read more.
We present here a review of the latest results on the spatially-resolved analysis of the stellar populations and ionized gas of disk-dominated galaxies based on Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area (CALIFA) data. CALIFA is an ongoing integral field spectroscopy (IFS) survey of galaxies in the Local Universe (0.005 < z < 0.03) that has already obtained spectroscopic information up to \(\sim\)2.5 \(r_e\) with a spatial resolution better than \(\sim\)1 kpc for a total number of more than 600 galaxies of different morphological types, covering the color-magnitude diagram up to M\(_{\rm R}<-\)18 mag. With nearly 2000 spectra obtained for each galaxy, CALIFA offers one of the best IFU datasets to study the star formation histories and chemical enrichment of galaxies. In this article, we focus on the main results from the analysis of the oxygen abundances based on the study of ionized gas in H II regions and individual spaxels and their relation to the global properties of galaxies, using an updated/revised dataset with more galaxies and ionized regions. In summary, we have confirmed previous published results indicating that: (1) the M-Z relation does not present a secondary relation to the star formation rate, when the abundance is measured at the effective radius; (2) the oxygen abundance presents a strong correlation with the stellar surface density (∑-Z relation); (3) the oxygen abundance profiles present three well-defined regimes: (i) an overall negative radial gradient between 0.5 and 2 \(r_e\), with a characteristic slope of \(\alpha_{O/H}\) \(\sim\)\(-\)0.1 dex/\(r_e\); (ii) a universal flattening beyond \(>\)2 \(r_e\); and (iii) an inner drop at \(<\)0.5 \(r_e\) that depends on mass; (4) the presence of bending in the surface brightness profile of disk galaxies is not clearly related to either the change in the shape of the oxygen abundance profile or the properties of the underlying stellar population. All of these results indicate that disk galaxies present an overall inside-out growth, with chemical enrichment and stellar mass growth tightly correlated and dominated by local processes and limited effects of radial mixing or global outflows. However, clear deviations are shown with respect to this simple scenario, which affect the abundance profiles in both the innermost and outermost regions of galaxies. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Isolated Galaxies versus Interacting Pairs with MaNGA
Galaxies 2015, 3(4), 156-163; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies3040156
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1613 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present preliminary results of the spectral analysis on the radial distributions of the star formation history in both a galaxy merger and a spiral isolated galaxy observed with MaNGA. We find that the central part of the isolated galaxy is composed by [...] Read more.
We present preliminary results of the spectral analysis on the radial distributions of the star formation history in both a galaxy merger and a spiral isolated galaxy observed with MaNGA. We find that the central part of the isolated galaxy is composed by older stellar population (~2 Gyr) than in the outskirts (~7 Gyr). Also, the time-scale is gradually larger from 1 Gyr in the inner part to 3 Gyr in the outer regions of the galaxy. In the case of the merger, the stellar population in the central region is older than in the tails, presenting a longer time-scale in comparison to central part in the isolated galaxy. Our results are in agreement with a scenario where spiral galaxies are built from inside-out. In the case of the merger, we find evidence that interactions enhance star formation in the central part of the galaxy. Full article
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