Interactions of galaxies outside clusters and massive groups

Abstract

We investigate the dependence of physical properties of galaxies on small- and large-scale density environment. The galaxy population consists of mainly passively evolving galaxies in comparatively low-density regions of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We adopt (i) local density, \(\rho _{20}\), derived using adaptive smoothing kernel, (ii) projected distance, \(r_p\), to the nearest neighbor galaxy and (iii) the morphology of the nearest neighbor galaxy as various definitions of environment parameters of every galaxy in our sample. In order to detect long-range interaction effects, we group galaxy interactions into four cases depending on morphology of the target and neighbor galaxies. This study builds upon an earlier study by Park and Choi (2009) by including improved definitions of target and neighbor galaxies, thus enabling us to better understand the effect of “the nearest neighbor” interaction on the galaxy. We report that the impact of interaction on galaxy properties is detectable at least up to the pair separation corresponding to the virial radius of (the neighbor) galaxies. This turns out to be mostly between 210 and 360 \(h^{-1}\)kpc for galaxies included in our study. We report that early type fraction for isolated galaxies with \(r_p > r_{vir,nei}\) is almost ignorant of the background density and has a very weak density dependence for closed pairs. Star formation activity of a galaxy is found to be crucially dependent on neighbor galaxy morphology. We find star formation activity parameters and structure parameters of galaxies to be independent of the large-scale background density. We also exhibit that changing the absolute magnitude of the neighbor galaxies does not affect significantly the star formation activity of those target galaxies whose morphology and luminosities are fixed.

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Acknowledgements

JKY thanks Changbom Park, Yun-Young Choi and Jasjeet Bagla for many useful discussions and suggestions. JKY acknowledges financial support from Chinese Academy of Sciences in the form of fellowship during this work. JKY and XC acknowledge support from NSFC via project number 11250110510 and 11373030 respectively. We thank Korea Institute for Advanced Study for providing computing resources (KIAS linux cluster system) for this work. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS was managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions.

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Correspondence to Jaswant K. Yadav.

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Yadav, J.K., Chen, X. Interactions of galaxies outside clusters and massive groups. J Astrophys Astron 39, 31 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12036-018-9521-x

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Keywords

  • Galaxies
  • evolution – galaxies
  • interactions – galaxies
  • fundamental parameters – galaxies
  • general