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The role of mergers in driving morphological transformation over cosmic time

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The role of mergers in driving morphological transformation over cosmic time. / Martin, G.; Kaviraj, S.; Devriendt, J. E. G.; Dubois, Y.; Pichon, C.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 480, No. 2, 01.10.2018, p. 2266–2283.

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Martin, G. ; Kaviraj, S. ; Devriendt, J. E. G. ; Dubois, Y. ; Pichon, C. / The role of mergers in driving morphological transformation over cosmic time. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2018 ; Vol. 480, No. 2. pp. 2266–2283.

Bibtex

@article{7d4f5dbcb6624a3680d5eda2aadf5d7e,
title = "The role of mergers in driving morphological transformation over cosmic time",
abstract = "Understanding the processes that trigger morphological transformation is central to understanding how and why the Universe transitions from being disc-dominated at early epochs to having the morphological mix that is observed today. We use Horizon-AGN, a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation, to perform a comprehensive study of the processes that drive morphological change in massive (M*/M ⊙ > 10 10) galaxies over cosmic time. We show that (1) essentially all the morphological evolution in galaxies that are spheroids at z = 0 is driven by mergers with mass ratios greater than 1: 10; (2) major mergers alone cannot produce today's spheroid population - minor mergers are responsible for a third of all morphological transformation over cosmic time and are its dominant driver after z ~ 1; (3) prograde mergers trigger milder morphological transformation than retrograde mergers - while both types of event produce similar morphological changes at z > 2, the average change due to retrograde mergers is around twice that due to their prograde counterparts at z ~ 0; (4) remnant morphology depends strongly on the gas fraction of a merger, with gas-rich mergers routinely re-growing discs; and (5) at a given stellar mass, discs do not exhibit drastically different merger histories from spheroids - disc survival in mergers is driven by acquisition of cold gas (via cosmological accretion and gas-rich interactions) and a preponderance of prograde mergers in their merger histories.",
keywords = "Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: highredshift, Galaxies: interactions, Methods: numerical",
author = "G. Martin and S. Kaviraj and Devriendt, {J. E. G.} and Y. Dubois and C. Pichon",
note = "Accepted for publication in MNRAS",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/mnras/sty1936",
language = "English",
volume = "480",
pages = "2266–2283",
journal = "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society",
issn = "0035-8711",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of mergers in driving morphological transformation over cosmic time

AU - Martin, G.

AU - Kaviraj, S.

AU - Devriendt, J. E. G.

AU - Dubois, Y.

AU - Pichon, C.

N1 - Accepted for publication in MNRAS

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Understanding the processes that trigger morphological transformation is central to understanding how and why the Universe transitions from being disc-dominated at early epochs to having the morphological mix that is observed today. We use Horizon-AGN, a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation, to perform a comprehensive study of the processes that drive morphological change in massive (M*/M ⊙ > 10 10) galaxies over cosmic time. We show that (1) essentially all the morphological evolution in galaxies that are spheroids at z = 0 is driven by mergers with mass ratios greater than 1: 10; (2) major mergers alone cannot produce today's spheroid population - minor mergers are responsible for a third of all morphological transformation over cosmic time and are its dominant driver after z ~ 1; (3) prograde mergers trigger milder morphological transformation than retrograde mergers - while both types of event produce similar morphological changes at z > 2, the average change due to retrograde mergers is around twice that due to their prograde counterparts at z ~ 0; (4) remnant morphology depends strongly on the gas fraction of a merger, with gas-rich mergers routinely re-growing discs; and (5) at a given stellar mass, discs do not exhibit drastically different merger histories from spheroids - disc survival in mergers is driven by acquisition of cold gas (via cosmological accretion and gas-rich interactions) and a preponderance of prograde mergers in their merger histories.

AB - Understanding the processes that trigger morphological transformation is central to understanding how and why the Universe transitions from being disc-dominated at early epochs to having the morphological mix that is observed today. We use Horizon-AGN, a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation, to perform a comprehensive study of the processes that drive morphological change in massive (M*/M ⊙ > 10 10) galaxies over cosmic time. We show that (1) essentially all the morphological evolution in galaxies that are spheroids at z = 0 is driven by mergers with mass ratios greater than 1: 10; (2) major mergers alone cannot produce today's spheroid population - minor mergers are responsible for a third of all morphological transformation over cosmic time and are its dominant driver after z ~ 1; (3) prograde mergers trigger milder morphological transformation than retrograde mergers - while both types of event produce similar morphological changes at z > 2, the average change due to retrograde mergers is around twice that due to their prograde counterparts at z ~ 0; (4) remnant morphology depends strongly on the gas fraction of a merger, with gas-rich mergers routinely re-growing discs; and (5) at a given stellar mass, discs do not exhibit drastically different merger histories from spheroids - disc survival in mergers is driven by acquisition of cold gas (via cosmological accretion and gas-rich interactions) and a preponderance of prograde mergers in their merger histories.

KW - Galaxies: evolution

KW - Galaxies: formation

KW - Galaxies: highredshift

KW - Galaxies: interactions

KW - Methods: numerical

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85055190984&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/mnras/sty1936

DO - 10.1093/mnras/sty1936

M3 - Article

VL - 480

SP - 2266

EP - 2283

JO - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

JF - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

SN - 0035-8711

IS - 2

ER -