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Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): the signatures of galaxy interactions as viewed from small scale galaxy clustering

Gunawardhana, M.L.P.; Norberg, P.; Zehavi, I.; Farrow, D.J.; Loveday, J.; Hopkins, A.M.; Davies, L.J.M.; Wang, L.; Alpaslan, M.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Brough, S.; Holwerda, B.W.; Owers, M.S.; Wright, A.H.

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): the signatures of galaxy interactions as viewed from small scale galaxy clustering Thumbnail


M.L.P. Gunawardhana

I. Zehavi

D.J. Farrow

J. Loveday

A.M. Hopkins

L.J.M. Davies

L. Wang

M. Alpaslan

J. Bland-Hawthorn

S. Brough

B.W. Holwerda

M.S. Owers

A.H. Wright


Statistical studies of galaxy–galaxy interactions often utilize net change in physical properties of progenitors as a function of the separation between their nuclei to trace both the strength and the observable time-scale of their interaction. In this study, we use two-point auto-, cross-, and mark-correlation functions to investigate the extent to which small-scale clustering properties of star-forming galaxies can be used to gain physical insight into galaxy–galaxy interactions between galaxies of similar optical brightness and stellar mass. The H α star formers, drawn from the highly spatially complete Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, show an increase in clustering at small separations. Moreover, the clustering strength shows a strong dependence on optical brightness and stellar mass, where (1) the clustering amplitude of optically brighter galaxies at a given separation is larger than that of optically fainter systems, (2) the small-scale-clustering properties (e.g. the strength, the scale at which the signal relative to the fiducial power law plateaus) of star-forming galaxies appear to differ as a function of increasing optical brightness of galaxies. According to cross- and mark-correlation analyses, the former result is largely driven by the increased dust content in optically bright star-forming galaxies. The latter could be interpreted as evidence of a correlation between interaction-scale and optical brightness of galaxies, where physical evidence of interactions between optically bright star formers, likely hosted within relatively massive haloes, persists over larger separations than those between optically faint star formers.


Gunawardhana, M., Norberg, P., Zehavi, I., Farrow, D., Loveday, J., Hopkins, A., …Wright, A. (2018). Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): the signatures of galaxy interactions as viewed from small scale galaxy clustering. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 479(2), 1433-1464.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2018
Publication Date Sep 11, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 11, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 12, 2018
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 479
Issue 2
Pages 1433-1464


Published Journal Article (16.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2018 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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