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2004A&A...420..873V - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 420, 873-879 (2004/6-4)

Properties of isolated disk galaxies.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a new sample of northern isolated galaxies, which are defined by the physical criterion that they were not affected by other galaxies in their evolution during the last few Gyr. To find them we used the logarithmic ratio, f, between inner and tidal forces acting upon the candidate galaxy by a possible perturber. The analysis of the distribution of the f-values for the galaxies in the Coma cluster lead us to adopt the criterion f≤-4.5 for isolated galaxies. The candidates were chosen from the CfA catalog of galaxies within the volume defined by cz≤5000km/s, galactic latitude higher than 40° and declination ≥-2.5°. The selection of the sample, based on redshift values (when available), magnitudes and sizes of the candidate galaxies and possible perturbers present in the same field is discussed. The final list of selected isolated galaxies includes 203 objects from the initial 1706. The list contains only truly isolated galaxies in the sense defined, but it is by no means complete, since all the galaxies with possible companions under the f-criterion but with unknown redshift were discarded. We also selected a sample of perturbed galaxies comprised of all the disk galaxies from the initial list with companions (with known redshift) satisfying f≥-2 and Δ(cz)≤500km/s; a total of 130 objects. The statistical comparison of both samples shows significant differences in morphology, sizes, masses, luminosities and color indices. Confirming previous results, we found that late spiral, Sc-type galaxies are, in particular, more frequent among isolated galaxies, whereas Lenticular galaxies are more abundant among perturbed galaxies. Isolated systems appear to be smaller, less luminous and bluer than interacting objects. We also found that bars are twice as frequent among perturbed galaxies compared to isolated galaxies, in particular for early Spirals and Lenticulars. The perturbed galaxies have higher LFIR/LB and Mmol/LB ratios, but the atomic gas content is similar for the two samples. The analysis of the luminosity-size and mass-luminosity relations shows similar trends for both families, the main difference being the almost total absence of big, bright and massive galaxies among the family of isolated systems, together with the almost total absence of small, faint and low mass galaxies among the perturbed systems. All these aspects indicate that the evolution induced by interactions with neighbors would proceed from late, small, faint and low mass Spirals to earlier, bigger, more luminous and more massive spiral and lenticular galaxies, producing at the same time a larger fraction of barred galaxies but preserving the same relations between global parameters. The properties we found for our sample of isolated galaxies appear similar to those of high redshift galaxies, suggesting that the present-day isolated galaxies could be quietly evolved, unused building blocks surviving in low density environments.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): galaxies: interactions - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: spiral

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/A+A/420/873): table1.dat table2.dat>

Simbad objects: 339

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