Photometric decomposition of mergers in disk galaxies.
MEZCUA M., LOBANOV A.P., MEDIAVILLA E. and KAROUZOS M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Several observational studies and numerical simulations suggest that mergers must contribute to the evolution of galaxies; however, the role that they play is not yet fully understood. In this paper we study a sample of 52 double nucleus disk galaxies that are considered as candidates for a minor merger event. The luminosity of each of the nuclei and their relative separation are derived from a multi-component photometric fit of the galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey optical images. We find that the nuclei in most of the sources have projected separations ≤ 4 kpc. The ratio of nuclear luminosities indicates that most of the systems are likely in the coalescence stage of a major merger. This is supported by the existence of a single galaxy disk in 65% of the systems studied and the finding of a correlation between nuclear luminosity and host luminosity for the single-disk systems: those sources fitted with as single disk are in a more evolved stage of the merger and present an enhancement of the nuclear luminosity compared to the double-disk systems, as expected from simulations of galaxy mergers. Finally, we identify a sample of 19 double nucleus disk galaxies in which the two nuclei are physically separated by ≤ 1 kpc and constitute thus a sample of sub-kpc binary active galactic nucleus candidates.