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V. A. Taylor (ASU)
Nearby (z ~0) irregular, peculiar, and merging galaxies resemble the majority of galaxy types observed at high redshift. Since optical observations of galaxies at high redshift cover their rest-frame ultraviolet emission, imaging of local late-type galaxies in the ultraviolet and optical will provide a necessary basis for understanding high-redshift galaxies and their implications for galaxy formation and evolution. For this purpose, I present an analysis of a unique, panchromatic sample of 199 mostly late-type, irregular, peculiar, and merging nearby galaxies observed in a combination of 10 different pass-bands from the far ultraviolet through the infrared.
I first present results of a study of the color gradients of these galaxies. I find that although elliptical through mid-type spiral galaxies are redder in their centers than their outskirts, most late-type spirals, irregular, and merging galaxies are bluer in their centers, becoming increasingly redder at larger radii. This indicates that late-type galaxies have a significant halo or thick disk of older stars, while young UV-bright stars dominate their inner regions. These results are consistent with models of hierarchical galaxy formation.
I also present measurements of the concentration, asymmetry, and clumpiness ("CAS") parameters of these galaxies. These fundamental galaxy parameters can be used for galaxy classification, and studying and identifying merging and perturbed galaxies. The dependence of these parameters on wavelength yields a quantitative measure of the "morphological k-correction," which describes how the appearance of a galaxy changes with rest-frame wavelength. I find that the CAS parameters depend on galaxy type, and vary significantly with rest-frame wavelength, especially short-ward of the Balmer break. Galaxies generally become less concentrated and more asymmetric and clumpy at shorter wavelengths.
Funded by NASA grants GO-8645.01-A, GO-9124.01-A and GO-9824.01-A, GALEXGI04-0000-0036, and the ASU NASA Space Grant Graduate Fellowship.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.