Major Mergers (major + merger)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Why are AGN found in high-mass galaxies?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Lan Wang
ABSTRACT There is a strong observed mass dependence of the fraction of nearby galaxies that contain either low-luminosity [low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) type] or higher luminosity (Seyfert or composite type) active galactic nuclei (AGN). This implies that either only a small fraction of low-mass galaxies contain black holes, or that the black holes in these systems only accrete rarely or at very low rates, and hence are generally not detectable as AGN. In this paper, we use semi-analytic models implemented in the Millennium Simulation to analyse the mass dependence of the merging histories of dark matter haloes and of the galaxies that reside in them. Only a few per cent of galaxies with stellar masses less than M* < 1010 M, are predicted to have experienced a major merger. The fraction of galaxies that have experienced major mergers increases steeply at larger stellar masses. We argue that if a major merger is required to form the initial seed black hole, the mass dependence of AGN activity in local galaxies can be understood quite naturally. We then investigate when the major mergers that first create these black holes are predicted to occur. High-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed their first black holes at very early epochs. The majority of low-mass galaxies never experience a major merger and hence may not contain a black hole, but a significant fraction of the supermassive black holes that do exist in low-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed recently. [source]


Institutional Mergers in Australian Higher Educaiton since 1960

HIGHER EDUCATION QUARTERLY, Issue 4 2000
Grant Harman
For the past forty years, institutional mergers have been a major and controversial theme in Australian higher education. Three main phases of major mergers are reviewed with particular attention being paid to reasons for merger, success factors, and longer term results. While merger experiences have often been traumatic for participants and participating institutions, on balance the longer term results have been positive, producing a university system today comprising relatively large and comprehensive institutions, well suited to compete in the new internationally competitive environment. [source]


Structures in the fundamental plane of early-type galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 4 2010
D. Fraix-Burnet
ABSTRACT The fundamental plane of early-type galaxies is a rather tight three-parameter correlation discovered more than 20 yr ago. It has resisted both a global and precise physical interpretation despite a consequent number of works, observational, theoretical or using numerical simulations. It appears that its precise properties depend on the population of galaxies in study. Instead of selecting a priori these populations, we propose to objectively construct homologous populations from multivariate analyses. We have undertaken multivariate cluster and cladistic analyses of a sample of 56 low-redshift galaxy clusters containing 699 early-type galaxies, using four parameters: effective radius, velocity dispersion, surface brightness averaged over effective radius and Mg2 index. All our analyses are consistent with seven groups that define separate regions on the global fundamental plane, not across its thickness. In fact, each group shows its own fundamental plane, which is more loosely defined for less diversified groups. We conclude that the global fundamental plane is not a bent surface, but made of a collection of several groups characterizing several fundamental planes with different thicknesses and orientations in the parameter space. Our diversification scenario probably indicates that the level of diversity is linked to the number and the nature of transforming events and that the fundamental plane is the result of several transforming events. We also show that our classification, not the fundamental planes, is universal within our redshift range (0.007,0.053). We find that the three groups with the thinnest fundamental planes presumably formed through dissipative (wet) mergers. In one of them, this(ese) merger(s) must have been quite ancient because of the relatively low metallicity of its galaxies, Two of these groups have subsequently undergone dry mergers to increase their masses. In the k-space, the third one clearly occupies the region where bulges (of lenticular or spiral galaxies) lie and might also have formed through minor mergers and accretions. The two least diversified groups probably did not form by major mergers and must have been strongly affected by interactions, some of the gas in the objects of one of these groups having possibly been swept out. The interpretation, based on specific assembly histories of galaxies of our seven groups, shows that they are truly homologous. They were obtained directly from several observables, thus independently of any a priori classification. The diversification scenario relating these groups does not depend on models or numerical simulations, but is objectively provided by the cladistic analysis. Consequently, our classification is more easily compared to models and numerical simulations, and our work can be readily repeated with additional observables. [source]


Why are AGN found in high-mass galaxies?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2008
Lan Wang
ABSTRACT There is a strong observed mass dependence of the fraction of nearby galaxies that contain either low-luminosity [low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) type] or higher luminosity (Seyfert or composite type) active galactic nuclei (AGN). This implies that either only a small fraction of low-mass galaxies contain black holes, or that the black holes in these systems only accrete rarely or at very low rates, and hence are generally not detectable as AGN. In this paper, we use semi-analytic models implemented in the Millennium Simulation to analyse the mass dependence of the merging histories of dark matter haloes and of the galaxies that reside in them. Only a few per cent of galaxies with stellar masses less than M* < 1010 M, are predicted to have experienced a major merger. The fraction of galaxies that have experienced major mergers increases steeply at larger stellar masses. We argue that if a major merger is required to form the initial seed black hole, the mass dependence of AGN activity in local galaxies can be understood quite naturally. We then investigate when the major mergers that first create these black holes are predicted to occur. High-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed their first black holes at very early epochs. The majority of low-mass galaxies never experience a major merger and hence may not contain a black hole, but a significant fraction of the supermassive black holes that do exist in low-mass galaxies are predicted to have formed recently. [source]


Galaxy growth in the concordance ,CDM cosmology

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 1 2008
Q. Guo
ABSTRACT We use galaxy and dark halo data from the public database for the Millennium Simulation to study the growth of galaxies in the De Lucia et al. model for galaxy formation. Previous work has shown this model to reproduce many aspects of the systematic properties and the clustering of real galaxies, both in the nearby universe and at high redshift. It assumes the stellar masses of galaxies to increase through three processes, major mergers, the accretion of smaller satellite systems and star formation. We show the relative importance of these three modes to be a strong function of stellar mass and redshift. Galaxy growth through major mergers depends strongly on stellar mass, but only weakly on redshift. Except for massive systems, minor mergers contribute more to galaxy growth than major mergers at all redshifts and stellar masses. For galaxies significantly less massive than the Milky Way, star formation dominates the growth at all epochs. For galaxies significantly more massive than the Milky Way, growth through mergers is the dominant process at all epochs. At a stellar mass of 6 1010 M,, about that of the Milk Way, star formation dominates at z > 1 and mergers at later times. At every stellar mass, the growth rates through star formation increase rapidly with increasing redshift. Specific star formation rates are the decreasing function of stellar mass not only at z= 0 but also at all higher redshifts. For comparison, we carry out a similar analysis of the growth of dark matter haloes. In contrast to the galaxies, growth rates depend strongly on redshift, but only weakly on mass. They agree qualitatively with analytic predictions for halo growth. [source]


Modelling angular-momentum history in dark-matter haloes

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 2 2002
Ariyeh H. Maller
We model the acquisition of spin by dark-matter haloes in semi-analytic merger trees. We explore two different algorithms: one in which halo spin is acquired from the orbital angular momentum of merging satellites, and another in which halo spin is gained via tidal torquing on shells of material while still in the linear regime. We find that both scenarios produce the characteristic spin distribution of haloes found in N -body simulations, namely, a log-normal distribution with mean , 0.04 and standard deviation , 0.5 in the log. A perfect match requires fine-tuning of two free parameters. Both algorithms also reproduce the general insensitivity of the spin distribution to halo mass, redshift and cosmology seen in N -body simulations. The spin distribution can be made strictly constant by physically motivated scalings of the free parameters. In addition, both schemes predict that haloes that have had recent major mergers have systematically larger spin values. These algorithms can be implemented within semi-analytic models of galaxy formation based on merger trees. They yield detailed predictions of galaxy properties that strongly depend on angular momentum (such as size and surface brightness) as a function of merger history and environment. [source]


Testing the modified Press,Schechter model against N -body simulations

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2001
Andreu Raig
A modified version of the extended Press,Schechter model for the growth of dark-matter haloes was introduced in two previous papers, with the aim of explaining the mass,density relation shown by haloes in high-resolution cosmological simulations. In this model, major mergers are well separated from accretion, thereby allowing a natural definition of halo formation and destruction. This makes it possible to derive analytic expressions for halo formation and destruction rates, the mass accretion rate and the probability distribution functions of halo formation times and progenitor masses. The stochastic merger histories of haloes can be readily derived and easily incorporated into semi-analytical models of galaxy formation, thus avoiding the usual problems encountered in the construction of Monte Carlo merger trees from the original extended Press,Schechter formalism. Here we show that the predictions of the modified Press,Schechter model are in good agreement with the results of N -body simulations for several scale-free cosmologies. [source]


A unified model for the evolution of galaxies and quasars

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, Issue 3 2000
Guinevere Kauffmann
We incorporate a simple scheme for the growth of supermassive black holes into semi-analytic models that follow the formation and evolution of galaxies in a cold dark matter-dominated Universe. We assume that supermassive black holes are formed and fuelled during major mergers. If two galaxies of comparable mass merge, their central black holes coalesce and a few per cent of the gas in the merger remnant is accreted by the new black hole over a time-scale of a few times 107 yr. With these simple assumptions, our model not only fits many aspects of the observed evolution of galaxies, but also reproduces quantitatively the observed relation between bulge luminosity and black hole mass in nearby galaxies, the strong evolution of the quasar population with redshift, and the relation between the luminosities of nearby quasars and those of their host galaxies. The strong decline in the number density of quasars from z,2 to z=0 is a result of the combination of three effects: (i) a decrease in the merging rate; (ii) a decrease in the amount of cold gas available to fuel black holes, and (iii) an increase in the time-scale for gas accretion. The predicted decline in the total content of cold gas in galaxies is consistent with that inferred from observations of damped Ly, systems. Our results strongly suggest that the evolution of supermassive black holes, quasars and starburst galaxies is inextricably linked to the hierarchical build-up of galaxies. [source]


The merger-driven evolution of warm infrared luminous galaxies

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: LETTERS (ELECTRONIC), Issue 1 2009
Joshua D. Younger
ABSTRACT We present a merger-driven evolutionary model for the production of luminous (LIRGs) and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) with warm infrared (IR) colours. Our results show that simulations of gas-rich major mergers including star formation, black hole growth and feedback can produce warm (U)LIRGs. We also find that while the warm evolutionary phase is associated with increased active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, star formation alone may be sufficient to produce warm IR colours. However, the transition can be suppressed entirely , even when there is a significant AGN contribution , when we assume a single-phase interstellar medium, which maximizes the attenuation. Finally, our evolutionary models are consistent with the 25-to-60 flux density ratio versus LHX/LIR relation for local LIRGs and ULIRGs, and predict the observed scatter in IR colour at fixed LHX/LIR. Therefore, our models suggest a cautionary note in the interpretation of warm IR colours: while associated with periods of active black hole growth, they are probably produced by a complex mix of star formation and AGN activity intermediate between the cold star formation dominated phase and the birth of a bright, unobscured quasar. [source]


Do mergers spin-up dark matter haloes?

MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: LETTERS (ELECTRONIC), Issue 1 2007
Elena D'Onghia
ABSTRACT We use a large cosmological N -body simulation to study the origin of possible correlations between the merging history and spin of cold dark matter haloes. In particular, we examine claims that remnants of major mergers tend to have higher-than-average spins, and find that the effect is driven largely by unrelaxed systems: equilibrium dark matter haloes show no significant correlation between spin and merging history. Out-of-equilibrium haloes have, on average, higher spin than relaxed systems, suggesting that the virialization process leads to a net decrease in the value of the spin parameter. We find that this decrease is due to the internal redistribution of mass and angular momentum that occurs during virialization. This process is especially efficient during major mergers, when high angular momentum material is pushed beyond the virial radius of the remnant. Because such redistribution likely affects the angular momentum of baryons and dark matter unevenly, our findings question the common practice of identifying the specific angular momentum content of a halo with that of its embedded luminous component. Further work is needed to elucidate the true relation between the angular momentum content of baryons and dark matter in galaxy systems assembled hierarchically. [source]


A study of major mergers using a multi-phase ISM code

ASTRONOMISCHE NACHRICHTEN, Issue 9-10 2009
J. Weniger
Abstract Galaxy interactions are a common phenomenon in clusters of galaxies. Especially major mergers are of particular importance, because they can change the morphological type of galaxies. They have an impact on the mass function of galaxies and they trigger star formation , the main driver of the Galactic Matter Cycle. Therefore, we conducted a study of major mergers by means of a multi-phase ISM code. This code is based on a TREE-SPH-code combined with a sticky particle method allowing for star formation controlled by the properties of a multi-phase ISM. This is in contrast to the usually implemented Schmidt law depending mainly on the gas density. Previously, this code was used on isolated galaxies. Since our star formation recipe is not restricted to a special type of galaxy, it is interesting to apply it to interacting galaxies, too. Our study on major mergers includes a research of global properties of the interacting system, namely the star formation rate and the star formation efficiency, the evaporation and condensation rates, as well as the mass exchange of distinct components, namely stars, diffuse ISM, and clouds. Investigating these properties provides insight to interrelations between various physical processes. The results indicate that the star formation efficiency as well as the evaporation and condensation rates are influenced by the interaction ( 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]