Reconciling Mass Functions with the Star-Forming Main Sequence Via Mergers [GA]

We combine star formation along the `main sequence’, quiescence, and clustering and merging to produce an empirical model for the evolution of individual galaxies. Main sequence star formation alone would significantly steepen the stellar mass function towards low redshift, in sharp conflict with observation. However, a combination of star formation and merging produces a consistent result for correct choice of the merger rate function. As a result, we are motivated to propose a model in which hierarchical merging is disconnected from environmentally-independent star formation. This model can be tested via correlation functions and would produce new constraints on clustering and merging.

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C. Steinhardt, D. Yurk and P. Capak
Fri, 3 Mar 17

Comments: MNRAS, in press