A Caltech Library Service

Morphology and Molecular Gas Fractions of Local Luminous Infrared Galaxies as a Function of Infrared Luminosity and Merger Stage

Larson, K. L. and Sanders, D. B. and Barnes, J. E. and Ishida, C. M. and Evans, A. S. and U, V. and Mazzarella, J. M. and Kim, D.-C. and Privon, G. C. and Mirabel, I. F. and Flewelling, H. A. (2016) Morphology and Molecular Gas Fractions of Local Luminous Infrared Galaxies as a Function of Infrared Luminosity and Merger Stage. Astrophysical Journal, 825 (2). Art. No. 128. ISSN 0004-637X.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present a new, detailed analysis of the morphologies and molecular gas fractions (MGFs) for a complete sample of 65 local luminous infrared galaxies from Great Observatories All-Sky Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRG) Survey using high resolution I-band images from The Hubble Space Telescope, the University of Hawaii 2.2 m Telescope and the Pan-STARRS1 Survey. Our classification scheme includes single undisturbed galaxies, minor mergers, and major mergers, with the latter divided into five distinct stages from pre-first pericenter passage to final nuclear coalescence. We find that major mergers of molecular gas-rich spirals clearly play a major role for all sources with L_(IR) > 10^(11.5) L_☉ however, below this luminosity threshold, minor mergers and secular processes dominate. Additionally, galaxies do not reach L_(IR) > 10^(12.0 L_☉ until late in the merger process when both disks are near final coalescence. The mean MGF (MGF = M_(H_2/M_* + M_(H_2) for non-interacting and early-stage major merger LIRGs is 18 ± 2%, which increases to 33 ± 3%, for intermediate stage major merger LIRGs, consistent with the hypothesis that, during the early-mid stages of major mergers, most of the initial large reservoir of atomic gas (HI) at large galactocentric radii is swept inward where it is converted into molecular gas (H_2).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Larson, K. L.0000-0003-3917-6460
Sanders, D. B.0000-0002-1233-9998
Evans, A. S.0000-0003-2638-1334
U, V.0000-0002-1912-0024
Mazzarella, J. M.0000-0002-8204-8619
Privon, G. C.0000-0003-3474-1125
Flewelling, H. A.0000-0002-1050-4056
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 June 24; accepted 2016 April 4; published 2016 July 12. D.S. acknowledges the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics, which is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant No. PHY-1066293. D.S. and K.L. also acknowledge the Distinguished Visitor Program at the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University for their generous support while they were in residence at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, Weston Creek, NSW. K.L., D.S., and J.B. gratefully acknowledge funding support from NASA grant NNX11AB02G. V.U. wishes to acknowledge partial funding support from the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory and the UC Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. A.S.E., D.C.K., and G.C.P. were supported by NASA grant HST-GO10592.01-A and by the NSF grant AST 1109475. A.S.E. was also supported by the Taiwan, R.O.C. Ministry of Science and Technology grant MoST 102-2119-M-001-MY3. G.C.P. acknowledges support from a FONDECYT Postdoctoral Fellowship (No. 3150361). V.U. and C.I. extend appreciation toward the UH TAC for their generous support of this project in awarding telescope time on Maunakea, as well as Colin Aspin and the UH 2.2 m Telescope staff for their help and support in the acquisition of the ground-based imaging and optical photometry. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) and the IPAC Science Archive, which are operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The HST-GOALS survey includes observations taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA Inc, under NASA contract NAS 5-2655. The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) have been made possible through contributions of the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max-Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, Queen's University Belfast, the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, and Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE), and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian National UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Thirty Meter Telescope International ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
UC Chancellor's Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSFAST 1109475
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)102-2119-M-001-MY3
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnolόgico (FONDECYT)3150361
NASANAS 5-26555
University of MarylandUNSPECIFIED
Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE)UNSPECIFIED
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: interactions; infrared: galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160919-093556831
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:K. L. Larson et al 2016 ApJ 825 128
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:70418
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Sep 2016 17:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page