Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 454, 1742-1750 (2015/December-1)
Interacting galaxies in the nearby Universe: only moderate increase of star formation.
KNAPEN J.H., CISTERNAS M. and QUEREJETA M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the influence of interactions on the star formation by studying a sample of almost 1500 of the nearest galaxies, all within a distance of ∼ 45Mpc. We define the massive star formation rate (SFR), as measured from far-IR emission, and the specific star formation rate (SSFR), which is the former quantity normalized by the stellar mass of the galaxy, and explore their distribution with morphological type and with stellar mass. We then calculate the relative enhancement of these quantities for each galaxy by normalizing them by the median SFR and SSFR values of individual control populations of similar non-interacting galaxies. We find that both SFR and SSFR are enhanced in interacting galaxies, and more so as the degree of interaction is higher. The increase is, however, moderate, reaching a maximum of a factor of 1.9 for the highest degree of interaction (mergers). The SFR and SSFR are enhanced statistically in the population, but in most individual interacting galaxies they are not enhanced at all. We discuss how those galaxies with the largest SFR and/or SSFR enhancement can be defined as starbursts. This study is based on a representative sample of nearby galaxies, including many low-mass and dwarf/irregular galaxies, and we argue that it should be used to place constraints on studies based on samples of galaxies at larger distances, beyond the local Universe.
© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015)
galaxies: interactions - galaxies: spiral - galaxies: starburst
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