Age Dating Merger Events in Early Type Galaxies via the Detection of AGB Light
- Bothun, G.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- A thorough statistical analysis of the J-H vs. H-K color plane of all detected early type galaxies in the 2MASS catalog with velocities less than 5000 km/s has been performed. This all sky survey is not sensitive to one particular galactic environment and therefore a representative range of early type galaxy environments have been sampled. Virtually all N-body simulation so major mergers produces a central starburst due to rapid collection of gas. This central starburst is of sufficient amplitude to change the stellar population in the central regions of the galaxy. Intermediate age populations are given away by the presence of AGB stars which will drive the central colors redder in H-K relative to the J- H baseline. This color anomaly has a lifetime of 2-5 billion years depending on the amplitude of the initial starburst Employing this technique on the entire 2MASS sample (several hundred galaxies) reveals that the AGB signature occurs less than 1% of the time. This is a straightforward indication that virtually all nearby early type galaxies have not had a major merger occur within the last few billion years.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050198881.
- No Copyright.
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