SDSS-IV MaNGA: Spatial Evolution of Star Formation Triggered by Galaxy Interactions

Hsi An Pan, Lihwai Lin, Bau Ching Hsieh, Jorge K. Barrera-Ballesteros, Sebastián F. Sánchez, Chin Hao Hsu, Ryan Keenan, Patricia B. Tissera, Médéric Boquien, Y. Sophia Dai, Johan H. Knapen, Rogério Riffel, MARIA DEL CARMEN ARGUDO FERNANDEZ, Ting Xiao, Fang Ting Yuan

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23 Scopus citations


Galaxy interaction is considered a key driver of galaxy evolution and star formation (SF) history. In this paper, we present an empirical picture of the radial extent of interaction-triggered SF along the merger sequence. The samples under study are drawn from the integral field spectroscopy survey SDSS-IV MaNGA, including 205 star-forming galaxies in pairs/mergers and ∼1350 control galaxies. For each galaxy in pairs, the merger stage is identified according to its morphological signatures: incoming phase, at first pericenter passage, at apocenter, in merging phase, and in final coalescence. The effect of interactions is quantified by the global and spatially resolved SF rate (SFR) relative to the SFR of a control sample selected for each individual galaxy (Δlog SFR and Δlog sSFR(r), respectively). Analysis of the radial Δlog sSFR(r) distributions shows that galaxy interactions have no significant impact on Δlog sSFR(r) during the incoming phase. Right after the first pericenter passage, the radial Δlog sSFR(r) profile decreases steeply from enhanced to suppressed activity for increasing galactocentric radius. Later on, SF is enhanced on a broad spatial scale out to the maximum radius we explore (∼6.7 kpc) and the enhancement is in general centrally peaked. The extended SF enhancement is also observed for systems at their apocenters and in the coalescence phase, suggesting that interaction-triggered SF is not restricted to the central region of a galaxy. Further explorations of a wide range in parameter space of merger configurations (e.g., mass ratio) are required to constrain the whole picture of interaction-triggered SF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: interactions
  • galaxies: star formation
  • galaxies: starburst


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