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Numerical simulations of disk galaxies with steady (long-lived) and dynamic (short-lived) spiral arms suggest that offsets between stellar and gas spiral arms depend on their nature or lifetime (Baba et al.2015). Based on this theoretical study, we investigated gas-star offsets in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M51, and found that its two spiral arms exhibit different offset dependences against radius. One arm is consistent with a steady arm, while the other is consistent with a dynamic arm. We deduce that this difference is likely due to a tidal interaction with the companion galaxy (Egusa et al.2017). For this study, a stellar mass distribution with a high accuracy at a high spatial resolution is essential, which has come to be available by applying recent SED fitting techniques to multi-wavelength images. We are now working to extend this study to other nearby spiral galaxies.
Some 300-500 Myr ago, the Whirlpool galaxy (NGC 5194/M51a) and its nearby post-starburst galaxy neighbour, NGC 5195/M51b closely interacted, resulting in significant changes to their star formation activity. Both galaxies display colors indicative of enhanced star formation during closest passage, but since then, star formation has ceased in NGC 5195 yet remained ongoing in the spiral NGC 5194. With a wealth of multi-wavelength (0.2–500 μm for this study) observations available, this nearby (10 Mpc) system, whose star formation history is well constrained through optical colors of individual stars and its dynamical history, provides the optimal laboratory to test the relation between dust emission and stellar emission within the fundamental framework of today's stellar population synthesis and dust emission models.
We have used the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys to measure the mass density function of morphologically-selected early-type galaxies in the Gemini Deep Deep Survey fields, over the redshift range 0.9 < z < 1.6. Our imaging data set covers four well-separated sight-lines, and is roughly intermediate (in terms of both depth and area) between the GOODS/GEMS imaging data, and the images obtained in the Hubble Deep Field campaigns. Our images contain 144 galaxies with ultra-deep spectroscopy, and they have been analyzed using a new purpose-written morphological analysis code which improves the reliability of morphological classifications by adopting a ‘quasi-petrosian’ image thresholding technique. We find that at z = 1 approximately 70% of the stars in massive galaxies reside in early-type systems. This fraction is remarkably similar to that seen in the local Universe. However, we detect very rapid evolution in this fraction over the range 1.0 < z < 1.6, suggesting that in this epoch the strong color-morphology relationship seen in the nearby Universe is beginning to fall into place.
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