Journal Article

Galaxy Zoo: multimergers and the Millennium Simulation

D. W. Darg, S. Kaviraj, C. J. Lintott, K. Schawinski, J. Silk, S. Lynn, S. Bamford and R. C. Nichol

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 416, issue 3, pages 1745-1755
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18964.x
Galaxy Zoo: multimergers and the Millennium Simulation

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We present a catalogue of 39 multiple mergers, found using the mergers catalogue of the Galaxy Zoo project for z < 0.1, and compare them to corresponding semi-analytical galaxies from the Millennium Simulation. We estimate the (volume-limited) multimerger fraction of the local Universe using our sample and find it to be at least 2 orders of magnitude less than binary mergers – in good agreement with the simulations (especially the Munich group). We then investigate the properties of galaxies in binary mergers and multimergers (morphologies, colours, stellar masses and environment) and compare these results with those predicted by the semi-analytical galaxies. We find that multimergers favour galaxies with properties typical of elliptical morphologies and that this is in qualitative agreement with the models. Studies of multimergers thus provide an independent (and largely corroborating) test of the Millennium semi-analytical models.

Keywords: catalogues; galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: general; galaxies: interactions; galaxies: spiral

Journal Article.  7828 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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