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D. Domingue (Georgia College & State University), C.K. Xu (IPAC, Caltech)
We select a close ``major-merger candidate" galaxy pair sample in order to calculate the Ks luminosity function (LF) and pair fraction representative of the interaction component of galaxy evolution in the local universe. The pair sample (projected separation 5 h-1 kpc \leq r \leq 20 h-1 kpc, Ks-band magnitude difference \deltaKs \leq 1mag) is selected by combining the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 3 (DR3). The resulting data set contains 122 galaxies covering 3500 sq. degrees. A stellar mass function is also translated from the LF. Contrary to previous results from a smaller sample, the derived pair LF has a consistent profile with that of 2MASS galaxies in general. A differential pair fraction therefore displays nearly constant fraction of galaxy pairs as a function of galaxy mass from 109.5 to 1011.5 solar masses. This suggests that major-mergers are produced in equal fractions regardless of galaxy mass.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.