Major Merger Galaxy Pairs at z=0: Dust Properties and Companion Morphology

10 Aug 2016  ·  Domingue Donovan L., Cao Chen, Xu C. Kevin, Jarrett Thomas H., Ronca Joseph, Hill Emily, Jacques Allison ·

We present an analysis of dust properties of a sample of close major-merger galaxy pairs selected by K_s magnitude and redshift. The pairs represent the two populations of spiral-spiral (S+S) and mixed morphology spiral-elliptical (S+E)... The CIGALE (Code Investigating GALaxy Emission) is used to fit dust models to the 2MASS, WISE and Herschel flux density measurements and derive the parameters describing the PAH contribution, interstellar radiation field (ISRF) and photo-dissociation regions (PDRs). Model fits verify our previous Spitzer Space Telescope analysis that S+S and S+E pairs do not have the same level of enhancement of star formation and differ in dust composition. The spirals of mixed morphology galaxy pairs do not exhibit the enhancements in interstellar radiation field and therefore dust temperature for spirals in S+S pairs in contrast to what would be expected according to standard models of gas redistribution due to encounter torques. This suggests the importance of the companion environment/morphology in determining the dust properties of a spiral galaxy in a close major-merger pair. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies