On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers

Fabio Fontanot, Andrea Maccio, Michaela Hirschmann, Gabriella De Lucia, Rahul Kannan, Rachel S. Somerville, Dave Wilman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The distribution of galaxy morphological types is a key test for models of galaxy formation and evolution, providing strong constraints on the relative contribution of different physical processes responsible for the growth of the spheroidal components. In this paper, we make use of a suite of semi-analytic models to study the efficiency of galaxy mergers in disrupting galaxy discs and building galaxy bulges. In particular, we compare standard prescriptions usually adopted in semi-analytic models, with new prescriptions proposed by Kannan et al., based on results from high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations, and we show that these new implementations reduce the efficiency of bulge formation through mergers. In addition, we compare our model results with a variety of observational measurements of the fraction of spheroid-dominated galaxies as a function of stellar and halo mass, showing that the present uncertainties in the data represent an important limitation to our understanding of spheroid formation. Our results indicate that the main tension between theoretical models and observations does not stem from the survival of purely disc structures (i.e. bulgeless galaxies), rather from the distribution of galaxies of different morphological types, as a function of their stellar mass.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2968-2977
    Number of pages10
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Volume451
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    merger
    galaxies
    spheroids
    stellar mass
    disrupting
    disk galaxies
    galactic evolution
    stems
    halos
    simulation
    high resolution
    distribution
    prescription

    Keywords

    • Galaxies: bulges
    • Galaxies: evolution
    • Galaxies: interactions
    • Galaxies: structure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    Fontanot, F., Maccio, A., Hirschmann, M., De Lucia, G., Kannan, R., Somerville, R. S., & Wilman, D. (2015). On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 451(3), 2968-2977. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1119

    On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers. / Fontanot, Fabio; Maccio, Andrea; Hirschmann, Michaela; De Lucia, Gabriella; Kannan, Rahul; Somerville, Rachel S.; Wilman, Dave.

    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 451, No. 3, 01.01.2015, p. 2968-2977.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fontanot, F, Maccio, A, Hirschmann, M, De Lucia, G, Kannan, R, Somerville, RS & Wilman, D 2015, 'On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 451, no. 3, pp. 2968-2977. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1119
    Fontanot F, Maccio A, Hirschmann M, De Lucia G, Kannan R, Somerville RS et al. On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015 Jan 1;451(3):2968-2977. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stv1119
    Fontanot, Fabio ; Maccio, Andrea ; Hirschmann, Michaela ; De Lucia, Gabriella ; Kannan, Rahul ; Somerville, Rachel S. ; Wilman, Dave. / On the dependence of galaxy morphologies on galaxy mergers. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015 ; Vol. 451, No. 3. pp. 2968-2977.
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