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Session 51 - Galaxy Evolution and the Intergalactic Medium.
Display session, Wednesday, June 10
We present the current state of our ongoing survey of deep HST images, obtained from the HST archive, to identify distant ring galaxies. These random fields provide an unbiased selection of distant field galaxies which have been visually inspected for galaxies having a ring morphology. Ring galaxies, most of which are collisionally induced, have regions of enhanced star formation rates, making them easily identifiable at high redshifts.
We will present the photometric and physical properties of our initial sample of distant ring galaxies and compare them to the Few and Madore (1985) sample of nearby ring galaxies. We will also use this distant sample to calculate the exponent, m, of the interaction rate of galaxies as a function of z, which is parameterized as: rate\,=\,(1+z)^m. Our goal is to place a lower limit on the power-law exponent, m, which in previous studies has ranged from 0 to 4.5.
Our long term aim is to produce a large sample of distant ring galaxies to be used in a redshift survey to directly measure m as a function of z. This sample of ring galaxies will also be useful for future studies on starburst galaxies, galaxy dynamics, galaxy evolution, and may lead to a determination of Ømega.
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