Volume 567, July 2014
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||11 July 2014|
Gas accretion from minor mergers in local spiral galaxies⋆
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, 6/2, Viale Berti Pichat, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Received: 7 February 2014
Accepted: 28 May 2014
We quantify the gas accretion rate from minor mergers onto star-forming galaxies in the local Universe using Hi observations of 148 nearby spiral galaxies (WHISP sample). We developed a dedicated code that iteratively analyses Hi data-cubes, finds dwarf gas-rich satellites around larger galaxies, and estimates an upper limit to the gas accretion rate. We found that 22% of the galaxies have at least one detected dwarf companion. We made the very stringent assumption that all satellites are going to merge in the shortest possible time, transferring all their gas to the main galaxies. This leads to an estimate of the maximum gas accretion rate of 0.28 M⊙ yr-1, about five times lower than the average star formation rate of the sample. Given the assumptions, our accretion rate is clearly an overestimate. Our result strongly suggests that minor mergers do not play a significant role in the total gas accretion budget in local galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: interactions / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: dwarf
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014
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