Article

How was the Hubble sequence 6 Gyrs ago?

06/2009;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT The way galaxies assemble their mass to form the well-defined Hubble sequence is amongst the most debated topic in modern cosmology. One difficulty is to link distant galaxies to those at present epoch. We aim at establishing how were the galaxies of the Hubble sequence, 6 Gyrs ago. We intend to derive a past Hubble sequence that can be causally linked to the present-day one. We selected samples of nearby galaxies from the SDSS and of distant galaxies from the GOODS survey. We verified that each sample is representative of galaxies. We further showed that the observational conditions necessary to retrieve their morphological classification are similar in an unbiased way. Morphological analysis has been done in an identical way for all galaxies in the two samples. We found an absence of number evolution for elliptical and lenticular galaxies, which strikingly contrasts with the strong evolution of spiral and peculiar galaxies. Spiral galaxies were 2.3 times less abundant in the past, that is exactly compensated by the strong decrease by a factor 5 of peculiar galaxies. It strongly suggests that more than half of the present-day spirals had peculiar morphologies, 6 Gyrs ago, and this has to be accounted by any scenario of galactic disk evolution and formation. The past Hubble sequence can be used to test these scenarios as well as to test evolution of fundamental planes for spirals and bulges. Comment: Version accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics, October 21 2009. Including low resolution images. 11 pages, 8 figures

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Jun 11, 2014