E. Cameron

Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (46)145.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We have analysed the growth of Brightest Group Galaxies and Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BGGs/BCGs) over the last 3 billion years using a large sample of 883 galaxies from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly Survey. By comparing the stellar mass of BGGs and BCGs in groups and clusters of similar dynamical masses, we find no significant growth between redshift $z=0.27$ and $z=0.09$. We also examine the number of BGGs/BCGs that have line emission, finding that approximately 65 per cent of BGGs/BCGs show H$\alpha$ in emission. From the galaxies where the necessary spectroscopic lines were accurately recovered (54 per cent of the sample), we find that half of this (i.e. 27 per cent of the sample) harbour on-going star formation with rates up to $10\,$M$_{\odot}$yr$^{-1}$, and the other half (i.e. 27 per cent of the sample) have an active nucleus (AGN) at the centre. BGGs are more likely to have ongoing star formation, while BCGs show a higher fraction of AGN activity. By examining the position of the BGGs/BCGs with respect to their host dark matter halo we find that around 13 per cent of them do not lie at the centre of the dark matter halo. This could be an indicator of recent cluster-cluster mergers. We conclude that BGGs and BCGs acquired their stellar mass rapidly at higher redshifts as predicted by semi-analytic models, mildly slowing down at low redshifts.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2014; 440(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu277 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abridged. We use COSMOS to study in a self-consistent way the change in the number densities of quenched early-type galaxies (Q-ETGs) of a given size over the interval 0.2 < z < 1.0 to study the claimed size evolution of these galaxies. At 10^10.5<Mgalaxy<10^11 Msun, we see no change in the number density of compact Q-ETGs, while at >10^11 Msun we find a decrease by 30%. In both mass bins, the increase of the median sizes of Q-ETGs with time is primarily caused by the addition to the size function of larger and more diffuse Q-ETGs. At all masses, compact Q-ETGs become systematically redder towards later epochs, with a (U-V) difference consistent with passive evolution of their stellar populations, indicating that they are a population that does not appreciably evolve in size. At all epochs, the larger Q-ETGs (at least in the lower mass bin) have average rest-frame colors systematically bluer than those of the more compact Q-ETGs, suggesting that the former are younger than the latter. The idea that new, large, Q-ETGs are responsible for the observed growth in the median size of the population at a given mass is supported by the sizes and number of the star-forming galaxies that are expected to be progenitors of the new Q-ETGs over the same period. In the low mass bin, the new Q-ETG have 30% smaller sizes than their star-forming progenitors. This is likely due to the fading of their disks after they cease star-formation. Comparison with higher z shows that the median size of newly-quenched galaxies roughly scales, at constant mass, as (1+z)^-1. The dominant cause of the size evolution seen in the Q-ETG population is thus that the average sizes of individual Q-ETGs scale with the average density of the Universe at the time when they were quenched, with subsequent size changes in individual objects through eg merging of secondary importance, especially at masses <10^11 Msun.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2013; 773(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/773/2/112 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey is a multiwavelength photometric and spectroscopic survey, using the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope to obtain spectra for up to ~300000 galaxies over 280 square degrees, to a limiting magnitude of r_pet < 19.8 mag. The target galaxies are distributed over 0<z<0.5 with a median redshift of z~0.2, although the redshift distribution includes a small number of systems, primarily quasars, at higher redshifts, up to and beyond z=1. The redshift accuracy ranges from sigma_v~50km/s to sigma_v~100km/s depending on the signal-to-noise of the spectrum. Here we describe the GAMA spectroscopic reduction and analysis pipeline. We present the steps involved in taking the raw two-dimensional spectroscopic images through to flux-calibrated one-dimensional spectra. The resulting GAMA spectra cover an observed wavelength range of 3750<lambda<8850 A at a resolution of R~1300. The final flux calibration is typically accurate to 10-20%, although the reliability is worse at the extreme wavelength ends, and poorer in the blue than the red. We present details of the measurement of emission and absorption features in the GAMA spectra. These measurements are characterised through a variety of quality control analyses detailing the robustness and reliability of the measurements. We illustrate the quality of the measurements with a brief exploration of elementary emission line properties of the galaxies in the GAMA sample. We demonstrate the luminosity dependence of the Balmer decrement, consistent with previously published results, and explore further how Balmer decrement varies with galaxy mass and redshift. We also investigate the mass and redshift dependencies of the [NII]/Halpha vs [OIII]/Hbeta spectral diagnostic diagram, commonly used to discriminate between star forming and nuclear activity in galaxies.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 01/2013; 430(3). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt030 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use the Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey (GAMA) I data set combined with GALEX, Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) imaging to construct the low-redshift (z < 0.1) galaxy luminosity functions in FUV, NUV, ugriz and YJHK bands from within a single well-constrained volume of 3.4 x 10(5) (Mpc h(-1))(3). The derived luminosity distributions are normalized to the SDSS data release 7 (DR7) main survey to reduce the estimated cosmic variance to the 5 per cent level. The data are used to construct the cosmic spectral energy distribution (CSED) from 0.1 to 2.1 mu m free from any wavelength-dependent cosmic variance for both the elliptical and non-elliptical populations. The two populations exhibit dramatically different CSEDs as expected for a predominantly old and young population, respectively. Using the Driver et al. prescription for the azimuthally averaged photon escape fraction, the non-ellipticals are corrected for the impact of dust attenuation and the combined CSED constructed. The final results show that the Universe is currently generating (1.8 +/- 0.3) x 10(35) h W Mpc(-3) of which (1.2 +/- 0.1) x 10(35) h W Mpc-3 is directly released into the inter-galactic medium and (0.6 +/- 0.1) x 10(35) h W Mpc(-3) is reprocessed and reradiated by dust in the far-IR. Using the GAMA data and our dust model we predict the mid- and far-IR emission which agrees remarkably well with available data. We therefore provide a robust description of the pre- and post-dust attenuated energy output of the nearby Universe from 0.1 mu m to 0.6 mm. The largest uncertainty in this measurement lies in the mid- and far-IR bands stemming from the dust attenuation correction and its currently poorly constrained dependence on environment, stellar mass and morphology.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2012; 427(4):3244-3264. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.22036.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: The mass-metallicity relationship (MMR) of star-forming galaxies is well-established, however there is still some disagreement with respect to its exact shape and its possible dependence on other observables. Aims: We measure the MMR in the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey. We compare our measured MMR to that measured in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and study the dependence of the MMR on various selection criteria to identify potential causes for disparities seen in the literature. Methods: We use strong emission line ratio diagnostics to derive oxygen abundances. We then apply a range of selection criteria for the minimum signal-to-noise in various emission lines, as well as the apparent and absolute magnitude to study variations in the inferred MMR. Results: The shape and position of the MMR can differ significantly depending on the metallicity calibration and selection used. After selecting a robust metallicity calibration amongst those tested, we find that the mass-metallicity relation for redshifts 0.061< z<0.35 in GAMA is in reasonable agreement with that found in the SDSS despite the difference in the luminosity range probed. Conclusions: In view of the significant variations of the MMR brought about by reasonable changes in the sample selection criteria and method, we recommend that care be taken when comparing the MMR from different surveys and studies directly. We also conclude that there could be a modest level of evolution over 0.06<z<0.35 within the GAMA sample.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2012; 547:A79. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201220050 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have measured the clustering properties of low-redshift (z < 0.3) sub-mm galaxies detected at 250 micron in the Herschel-ATLAS Science Demonstration Phase (SDP) field. We selected a sample for which we have high-quality spectroscopic redshifts, obtained from reliably matching the 250-micron sources to a complete (for r < 19.4) sample of galaxies from the GAMA database. Both the angular and spatial clustering strength are measured for all z < 0.3 sources as well as for five redshift slices with thickness delta z=0.05 in the range 0.05 < z < 0.3. Our measured spatial clustering length r_0 is comparable to that of optically-selected, moderately star-forming (blue) galaxies: we find values around 5 Mpc. One of the redshift bins contains an interesting structure, at z = 0.164.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2012; 426(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21949.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use the GAMA I dataset combined with GALEX, SDSS and UKIDSS imaging to construct the low-redshift (z<0.1) galaxy luminosity functions in FUV, NUV, ugriz, and YJHK bands from within a single well constrained volume of 3.4 x 10^5 (Mpc/h)^{3}. The derived luminosity distributions are normalised to the SDSS DR7 main survey to reduce the estimated cosmic variance to the 5 per cent level. The data are used to construct the cosmic spectral energy distribution (CSED) from 0.1 to 2.1 \mum free from any wavelength dependent cosmic variance for both the elliptical and non-elliptical populations. The two populations exhibit dramatically different CSEDs as expected for a predominantly old and young population respectively. Using the Driver et al. (2008) prescription for the azimuthally averaged photon escape fraction, the non-ellipticals are corrected for the impact of dust attenuation and the combined CSED constructed. The final results show that the Universe is currently generating (1.8 +/- 0.3) x 10^{35} h W Mpc^{-3} of which (1.2 +/- 0.1) x 10^{35} h W Mpc^{-3} is directly released into the inter-galactic medium and (0.6 +/- 0.1) x 10^{35} h W Mpc^{-3} is reprocessed and reradiated by dust in the far-IR. Using the GAMA data and our dust model we predict the mid and far-IR emission which agrees remarkably well with available data. We therefore provide a robust description of the pre- and post dust attenuated energy output of the nearby Universe from 0.1micron to 0.6mm. The largest uncertainty in this measurement lies in the mid and far-IR bands stemming from the dust attenuation correction and its currently poorly constrained dependence on environment, stellar mass, and morphology.
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    ABSTRACT: We present photometric measurements for the galaxies - and when possible their bulges and disks - in the 0.05<z<0.0585 groups of the Zurich Environmental Study (ZENS); these measurements include (B-I) colors, color gradients and maps, color dispersions, as well as stellar masses and star-formation rates. The ZENS galaxies are classified into quenched, moderately star-forming, and strongly star-forming using a combination of spectral features and FUV-to-optical colors; this approach optimally distinguishes quenched systems from dust-reddened star-forming galaxies. The latter contribute up to 50% to the (B-I) "red sequence" at ~10^10Msun. At fixed morphological or spectral type, we find that galaxy stellar masses are largely independent of environment, and especially of halo mass. As a first utilization of our photometric database, we study, at fixed stellar mass and Hubble type, how (B-I) colors, color gradients and color dispersion of disk satellites depend on group mass (M_GROUP), group-centric distance (R/R_200) and large-scale structure overdensity. The strongest environmental trend is found for disk-dominated satellites with M_GROUP and R/R_200. At M<10^10 Msun, disk-dominated satellites are redder in the inner regions of the groups than in the outer parts. At M>10^10 Msun, these satellites have shallower color gradients in higher mass groups and in the cores of groups compared with lower mass groups and the outskirts of groups. Stellar population analyses and semi-analytic models suggest that disk-dominated satellites undergo quenching of star formation in their outer disks, on timescales ~2 Gyr, as they progressively move inside the group potential.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2012; 777(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/777/2/116 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present structural measurements for the galaxies in the 0.05<z<0.0585 groups of the Zurich Environmental Study, aimed at establishing how galaxy properties depend on four environmental parameters: group halo mass M_GROUP, group-centric distance R/R_200, ranking into central or satellite, and large-scale structure density delta_LSS. Global galaxy structure is quantified both parametrically and non-parametrically. We correct all these measurements for observational biases due to PSF blurring and surface brightness effects as a function of galaxy size, magnitude, steepness of light profile and ellipticity. Structural parameters are derived also for bulges, disks and bars. We use the galaxy bulge-to-total ratios (B/T), together with the calibrated non-parametric structural estimators, to implement a quantitative morphological classification that maximizes purity in the resulting morphological samples. We investigate how the concentration C of satellite galaxies depends on galaxy mass for each Hubble type, and on M_GROUP, R/R_200 and delta_LSS. At galaxy masses M>10^10 M_sun, the concentration of disk satellites increases with increasing stellar mass, separately within each morphological bin of B/T. The known increase in concentration with stellar mass for disk satellites is thus due, at least in part, to an increase in galaxy central stellar density at constant B/T. The correlation between concentration and galaxy stellar mass becomes progressively steeper for later morphological types. The concentration of disk satellites shows a barely significant dependence on delta_LSS or R/R_200. The strongest environmental effect is found with group mass for M>10^10 M_sun disk-dominated satellites, which are ~10% more concentrated in high mass groups than in lower mass groups.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2012; 776(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/776/2/72 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Zurich Environmental Study (ZENS) is based on a sample of ~1500 galaxy members of 141 groups in the mass range ~10^12.5-14.5 M_sun within the narrow redshift range 0.05<z<0.0585. ZENS adopts novel approaches, here described, to quantify four different galactic environments, namely: (1) the mass of the host group halo; (2) the projected halo-centric distance; (3) the rank of galaxies as central or satellites within their group halos; and (4) the filamentary large-scale structure (LSS) density. No self-consistent identification of a central galaxy is found in ~40% of <10^13.5 M_sun groups, from which we estimate that ~15% of groups at these masses are dynamically unrelaxed systems. Central galaxies in relaxed and unrelaxed groups have in general similar properties, suggesting that centrals are regulated by their mass and not by their environment. Centrals in relaxed groups have however ~30% larger sizes than in unrelaxed groups, possibly due accretion of small satellites in virialized group halos. At M>10^10 M_sun, satellite galaxies in relaxed and unrelaxed groups have similar size, color and (specific) star formation rate distributions; at lower galaxy masses, satellites are marginally redder in relaxed relative to unrelaxed groups, suggesting quenching of star formation in low-mass satellites by physical processes active in relaxed halos. Finally, relaxed and unrelated groups show similar stellar mass conversion efficiencies, peaking at halo masses around 10^12.5 M_sun. In the enclosed ZENS catalogue we publish all environmental diagnostics as well as the galaxy structural and photometric measurements described in companion ZENS papers II and III.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2012; 776(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/776/2/71 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the two-point angular correlation function of a sample of 4,289,223 galaxies with r < 19.4 mag from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey as a function of photometric redshift, absolute magnitude and colour down to M_r - 5log h = -14 mag. Photometric redshifts are estimated from ugriz model magnitudes and two Petrosian radii using the artificial neural network package ANNz, taking advantage of the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) spectroscopic sample as our training set. The photometric redshifts are then used to determine absolute magnitudes and colours. For all our samples, we estimate the underlying redshift and absolute magnitude distributions using Monte-Carlo resampling. These redshift distributions are used in Limber's equation to obtain spatial correlation function parameters from power law fits to the angular correlation function. We confirm an increase in clustering strength for sub-L* red galaxies compared with ~L* red galaxies at small scales in all redshift bins, whereas for the blue population the correlation length is almost independent of luminosity for ~L* galaxies and fainter. A linear relation between relative bias and log luminosity is found to hold down to luminosities L~0.03L*. We find that the redshift dependence of the bias of the L* population can be described by the passive evolution model of Tegmark & Peebles (1998). A visual inspection of a random sample of our r < 19.4 sample of SDSS galaxies reveals that about 10 per cent are spurious, with a higher contamination rate towards very faint absolute magnitudes due to over-deblended nearby galaxies. We correct for this contamination in our clustering analysis.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2012; 425(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21434.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed investigation into the effects of galaxy environment on their star formation rates (SFR) using galaxies observed in the Galaxy and Mass Assembly Survey (GAMA). We use three independent volume-limited samples of galaxies within z < 0.2 and Mr < -17.8. We investigate the known SFR-density relationship and explore in detail the dependence of SFR on stellar mass and density. We show that the SFR-density trend is only visible when we include the passive galaxy population along with the star-forming population. This SFR-density relation is absent when we consider only the star-forming population of galaxies, consistent with previous work. While there is a strong dependence of the EWH?a on density we find, as in previous studies, that these trends are largely due to the passive galaxy population and this relationship is absent when considering a "star-forming" sample of galaxies. We find that stellar mass has the strongest influence on SFR and EWH?a with the environment having no significant effect on the star-formation properties of the star forming population. We also show that the SFR-density relationship is absent for both early and late-type star-forming galaxies. We conclude that the stellar mass has the largest impact on the current SFR of a galaxy, and any environmental effect is not detectable. The observation that the trends with density are due to the changing morphology fraction with density implies that the timescales must be very short for any quenching of the SFR in infalling galaxies. Alternatively galaxies may in fact undergo predominantly in-situ evolution where the infall and quenching of galaxies from the field into dense environments is not the dominant evolutionary mode.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2012; 423(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21164.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ZENS is a survey of nearby (z 0.05) galaxy groups in the mass range 1012-1014 MSUN. From both spectroscopy and deep optical imaging, we have analyzed the structural, stellar population, and star-formation properties of the group galaxies. By comparing the galaxy populations, at fixed galactic stellar mass, across a wide range of environmental indicators - including group halo mass, group-centric radius, large scale structure density, and satellite vs. central galaxies - we are able to determine the dependence of galactic properties on each of these environmental measures. Our results indicate that the most significant environmental effects are seen for satellite galaxies as a function of the group-centric distance, where galaxies nearer the group centers are more likely to be quenched, be more bulge-dominated, and have redder colors (particularly in the disk component) than galaxies in the group outskirts. Group halo mass, LSS-density, and the central/satellite dichotomy tend to have smaller, although not always negligible, effects. Additionally, the group environment has a more pronounced affect on galaxies at lower stellar masses. We compare these results to those of several state-of-the art semi-analytic models of galaxy evolution. We find that the standard recipes tend to predict both an over-abundance of, and overly red colors for quenched galaxies. We instead find that a model in which the star-formation rate of galaxies is tied to the observed specific star formation evolution with redshift more accurately reproduced the numbers and colors of these quenched galaxies.
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    ABSTRACT: We present near-infrared (near-IR) surface photometry (2D profiling) for a sample of 29 nearby galaxies for which supermassive black hole (SMBH) masses are constrained. The data are derived from the UKIDSS-LAS representing a significant improvement in image quality and depth over previous studies based on Two Micron All Sky Survey data. We derive the spheroid luminosity and spheroid Sérsic index for each galaxy with galfit3 and use these data to construct SMBH mass–bulge luminosity (Mbh–L) and SMBH–Sérsic index (Mbh–n) relations. The best-fitting K-band relation for elliptical and disc galaxies is log (Mbh/M⊙) =−0.36(±0.03)(MK+ 18) + 6.17(±0.16), with an intrinsic scatter of 0.4+0.09−0.06 dex, whilst for elliptical galaxies we find log (Mbh/M⊙) =−0.42(±0.06)(MK+ 22) + 7.5(±0.15), with an intrinsic scatter of 0.31+0.087−0.047 dex. Our revised Mbh–L relation agrees closely with the previous near-IR constraint by Graham. The lack of improvement in the intrinsic scatter in moving to higher quality near-IR data suggests that the SMBH relations are not currently limited by the quality of the imaging data but is either intrinsic or a result of uncertainty in the precise number of required components required in the profiling process. Contrary to expectation, a relation between SMBH mass and the Sérsic index was not found at near-IR wavelengths. This latter outcome is believed to be explained by the generic inconsistencies between 1D and 2D galaxy profiling which are currently under further investigation.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 01/2012; 419(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19881.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) is a project to study galaxy formation and evolution, combining imaging data from ultraviolet to radio with spectroscopic data from the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Using data from phase 1 of GAMA, taken over three observing seasons, and correcting for various minor sources of incompleteness, we calculate galaxy luminosity functions (LFs) and their evolution in the ugriz passbands. At low redshift, z < 0.1, we find that blue galaxies, defined according to a magnitude-dependent but non-evolving colour cut, are reasonably well fitted over a range of more than ten magnitudes by simple Schechter functions in all bands. Red galaxies, and the combined blue-plus-red sample, require double power-law Schechter functions to fit a dip in their LF faintwards of the characteristic magnitude M * before a steepening faint end. This upturn is at least partly due to dust-reddened disc galaxies. We measure evolution of the galaxy LF over the redshift range 0.002 < z < 0.5 both by using a parametric fit and by measuring binned LFs in redshift slices. The characteristic lumi-nosity L * is found to increase with redshift in all bands, with red galaxies showing stronger luminosity evolution than blue galaxies. The comoving number density of blue galaxies in-creases with redshift, while that of red galaxies decreases, consistent with prevailing move- 2 J. Loveday et al. ment from blue cloud to red sequence. As well as being more numerous at higher redshift, blue galaxies also dominate the overall luminosity density beyond redshifts z 0.2. At lower redshifts, the luminosity density is dominated by red galaxies in the riz bands, by blue galax-ies in u and g.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2011; 000(2):0-0. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20111.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present near-IR surface photometry (2D-profiling) for a sample of 29 nearby galaxies for which super-massive black hole (SMBH) masses are constrained. The data is derived from the UKIDSS-LASS survey representing a significant improvement in image quality and depth over previous studies based on 2MASS data. We derive the spheroid luminosity and spheroid S\'ersic index for each galaxy with GALFIT3 and use these data to construct SMBH mass -bulge luminosity ($M_{\rm bh}$--$L$) and SMBH - S\'ersic index ($M_{\rm bh}$--$n$) relations. The best fit K-band relation for elliptical and disk galaxies is $\log(M_{\rm bh}/M_{\odot})= -0.36(\pm 0.03) (M_{\rm K} + 18) + 6.17(\pm 0.16)$ with an intrinsic scatter of 0.4$^{+0.09}_{-0.06}$dex whilst for elliptical galaxies we find $\log(M_{\rm bh}/M_{\odot})= -0.42(\pm 0.06) (M_{\rm K} + 22) + 7.5(\pm 0.15)$ with an intrinsic scatter of 0.31$^{+0.087}_{-0.047}$dex. Our revised $M_{\rm bh}$--$L$ relation agrees closely with the previous near-IR constraint by \citet{tex:G07}. The lack of improvement in the intrinsic scatter in moving to higher quality near-IR data suggests that the SMBH relations are not currently limited by the quality of the imaging data but is either intrinsic or a result of uncertainty in the precise number of required components required in the profiling process. Contrary to expectation (see \citealt{tex:GD07a}) a relation between SMBH mass and the S\'ersic index was not found at near-IR wavelengths. This latter outcome is believed to be explained by the generic inconsistencies between 1D and 2D galaxy profiling which are currently under further investigation.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the first catalogue of photometrically-derived stellar mass estimates for intermediate-redshift (z < 0.65) galaxies in the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) spectroscopic redshift survey. These masses, as well as the full set of ancillary stellar population parameters, will be made public as part of GAMA data release 2. Although the GAMA database does include NIR photometry, we show that the quality of our stellar population synthesis fits is significantly poorer when these NIR data are included. Further, for a large fraction of galaxies, the stellar population parameters inferred from the optical-plus-NIR photometry are formally inconsistent with those inferred from the optical data alone. This may indicate problems in our stellar population library, or NIR data issues, or both; these issues will be addressed for future versions of the catalogue. For now, we have chosen to base our stellar mass estimates on optical photometry only. In light of our decision to ignore the available NIR data, we examine how well stellar mass can be constrained based on optical data alone. We use generic properties of stellar population synthesis models to demonstrate that restframe colour alone is in principle a very good estimator of stellar mass-to-light ratio, M*/Li. Further, we use the observed relation between restframe (g-i) and M*/Li for real GAMA galaxies to argue that, modulo uncertainties in the stellar evolution models themselves, (g-i) colour can in practice be used to estimate M*/Li to an accuracy of < ~0.1 dex. This 'empirically calibrated' (g-i)-M*/Li relation offers a simple and transparent means for estimating galaxies' stellar masses based on minimal data, and so provides a solid basis for other surveys to compare their results to z < ~0.4 measurements from GAMA.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2011; 418(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19536.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the properties of satellite galaxies that surround isolated hosts within the redshift range 0.01 < z < 0.15, using data taken as part of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey. Making use of isolation and satellite criteria that take into account stellar mass estimates, we find 3514 isolated galaxies of which 1426 host a total of 2998 satellites. Separating the red and blue populations of satellites and hosts, using colour-mass diagrams, we investigate the radial distribution of satellite galaxies and determine how the red fraction of satellites varies as a function of satellite mass, host mass and the projected distance from their host. Comparing the red fraction of satellites to a control sample of small neighbours at greater projected radii, we show that the increase in red fraction is primarily a function of host mass. The satellite red fraction is about 0.2 higher than the control sample for hosts with 11.0 < log M_* < 11.5, while the red fractions show no difference for hosts with 10.0 < log M_* < 10.5. For the satellites of more massive hosts the red fraction also increases as a function of decreasing projected distance. Our results suggest that the likely main mechanism for the quenching of star formation in satellites hosted by isolated galaxies is strangulation.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2011; 417(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19353.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the complete GAMA-I survey covering ~142 sq. deg. to r=19.4, of which ~47 sq. deg. is to r=19.8, we create the GAMA-I galaxy group catalogue (G3Cv1), generated using a friends-of-friends (FoF) based grouping algorithm. Our algorithm has been tested extensively on one family of mock GAMA lightcones, constructed from Lambda-CDM N-body simulations populated with semi-analytic galaxies. Recovered group properties are robust to the effects of interlopers and are median unbiased in the most important respects. G3Cv1 contains 14,388 galaxy groups (with multiplicity >= 2$), including 44,186 galaxies out of a possible 110,192 galaxies, implying ~40% of all galaxies are assigned to a group. The similarities of the mock group catalogues and G3Cv1 are multiple: global characteristics are in general well recovered. However, we do find a noticeable deficit in the number of high multiplicity groups in GAMA compared to the mocks. Additionally, despite exceptionally good local spatial completeness, G3Cv1 contains significantly fewer compact groups with 5 or more members, this effect becoming most evident for high multiplicity systems. These two differences are most likely due to limitations in the physics included of the current GAMA lightcone mock. Further studies using a variety of galaxy formation models are required to confirm their exact origin.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 06/2011; 416(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19217.x · 5.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
145.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2010–2013
    • ETH Zurich
      • • Institute for Astronomy
      • • Department of Physics
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012
    • Queensland University of Technology
      • School of Mathematical Sciences
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2008–2011
    • University of St Andrews
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Saint Andrews, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • University of Central Lancashire
      Preston, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002–2009
    • Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • Australian National University
      • Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia