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Simulated Galaxy Interactions as Probes of Merger Spectral Energy Distributions

Lanz, Lauranne and Hayward, Christopher C. and Zezas, Andreas and Smith, Howard A. and Ashby, Matthew L. N. and Brassington, Nicola and Fazio, Giovanni G. and Hernquist, Lars (2014) Simulated Galaxy Interactions as Probes of Merger Spectral Energy Distributions. Astrophysical Journal, 785 (1). Art. No. 39. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present the first systematic comparison of ultraviolet-millimeter spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of observed and simulated interacting galaxies. Our sample is drawn from the Spitzer Interacting Galaxy Survey and probes a range of galaxy interaction parameters. We use 31 galaxies in 14 systems which have been observed with Herschel, Spitzer, GALEX, and 2MASS. We create a suite of GADGET-3 hydrodynamic simulations of isolated and interacting galaxies with stellar masses comparable to those in our sample of interacting galaxies. Photometry for the simulated systems is then calculated with the SUNRISE radiative transfer code for comparison with the observed systems. For most of the observed systems, one or more of the simulated SEDs match reasonably well. The best matches recover the infrared luminosity and the star formation rate of the observed systems, and the more massive systems preferentially match SEDs from simulations of more massive galaxies. The most morphologically distorted systems in our sample are best matched to the simulated SEDs that are close to coalescence, while less evolved systems match well with the SEDs over a wide range of interaction stages, suggesting that an SED alone is insufficient for identifying the interaction stage except during the most active phases in strongly interacting systems. This result is supported by our finding that the SEDs calculated for simulated systems vary little over the interaction sequence.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lanz, Lauranne0000-0002-3249-8224
Hayward, Christopher C.0000-0003-4073-3236
Zezas, Andreas0000-0001-8952-676X
Ashby, Matthew L. N.0000-0002-3993-0745
Fazio, Giovanni G.0000-0002-0670-0708
Hernquist, Lars0000-0001-6950-1629
Additional Information:© 2014 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 December 23; accepted 2014 February 20; published 2014 March 24. The simulations in this paper were performed on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Research Computing Group at Harvard University. L.L. and H.A.S. acknowledge partial support from NASA grant NNX12AI55G and JPL RSA contracts 717437 and 717353. C.C.H. is grateful to the Klaus Tschira Foundation for financial support and acknowledges the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. PHY-1066293. This work was based on archival data obtained from the Spitzer Science Archive, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), the Swift data archive, and the Herschel Science Archive. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. Spitzer is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. GALEX is operated for NASA by the California Institute of Technology under NASA contract NAS5-98034. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Harvard UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Klaus Tschira FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: interactions; galaxies: star formation; hydrodynamics; methods: numerical; methods: observational; radiative transfer
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140609-085505872
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Official Citation:Simulated Galaxy Interactions as Probes of Merger Spectral Energy Distributions Lauranne Lanz et al. 2014 ApJ 785 39
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46141
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Jun 2014 16:27
Last Modified:06 Nov 2019 03:53

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