The structures and total (minor + major) merger histories of massive galaxies up to z = 3 in the HST GOODS NICMOS Survey: A possible solution to the size evolution problem

Дата и время публикации : 2011-11-24T00:57:10Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Asa F. L. Bluck
Christopher J. Conselice
Fernando Buitrago
Ruth Gruetzbauch
Carlos Hoyos
Alice Mortlock
Amanda E. Bauer

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 19 pages, 10 figures, re-submitted to ApJ after a positive referee report, originally submitted on Sept 20 2011
Первичная категория: astro-ph.CO

Все категории : astro-ph.CO

Краткий обзор статьи: We investigate the total major (> 1:4 by stellar mass) and minor (> 1:100 by stellar mass) merger history of a population of 80 massive (M_* > 10^11 M_sol) galaxies at high redshifts (z = 1.7 – 3). We utilize extremely deep and high resolution HST H-band imaging from the GOODS NICMOS Survey (GNS), which corresponds to rest-frame optical wavelengths at the redshifts probed. We find that massive galaxies at high redshifts are often morphologically disturbed, with a CAS deduced merger fraction f_m = 0.23 +/- 0.05 at z = 1.7 – 3. We find close accord between close pair methods (within 30 kpc apertures) and CAS methods for deducing major merger fractions at all redshifts. We deduce the total (minor + major) merger history of massive galaxies with M_* > 10^9 M_sol galaxies, and find that this scales roughly linearly with log-stellar-mass and magnitude range. We test our close pair methods by utilizing mock galaxy catalogs from the Millennium Simulation. We compute the total number of mergers to be (4.5 +/- 2.9) / <tau_m> from z = 3 to the present, to a stellar mass sensitivity threshold of ~ 1:100 (where tau_m is the merger timescale in Gyr which varies as a function of mass). This corresponds to an average mass increase of (3.4 +/- 2.2) x 10^11 M_sol over the past 11.5 Gyrs due to merging. We show that the size evolution observed for these galaxies may be mostly explained by this merging.

Category: Physics