Environmental dependence of local luminous infrared galaxies
CEA Saclay/Service d’Astrophysique,
2 Astronomy Program, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
3 Korea Astronomy & Space Science Institute, Deajeon 305-348, Korea
4 School of Physics, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Seoul 130-722, Korea
Accepted: 10 June 2010
Aims. We study the environmental dependence of local luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs) found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data.
Methods. The LIRG and ULIRG samples are constructed by cross-correlating spectroscopic catalogs of galaxies of the SDSS Data Release 7 and the Infrared Astronomical Satellite Faint Source Catalog. We examine the effects of the large-scale background density (Σ5), galaxy clusters and the nearest neighbor galaxy on the properties of infrared galaxies (IRGs).
Results. We find that the fraction of LIRGs plus ULIRGs among IRGs (f(U)LIRGs) and the infrared luminosity (LIR) of IRGs strongly depend on the morphology of and the distance to the nearest neighbor galaxy: the probability of an IRG being a (U)LIRG (f(U)LIRGs) and its LIR both increases as it approaches a late-type galaxy, but decreases as it approaches an early-type galaxy (within half the virial radius of its neighbor). We find no dependence of f(U)LIRGs on the background density (surface galaxy number density) at a fixed stellar mass of galaxies. The dependence of f(U)LIRGs on the distance to galaxy clusters is also found to be very weak, but in the highest density regions, such as the center of galaxy clusters, few (U)LIRGs are found.
Conclusions. This environmental dependence of LIRGs and ULIRGs and the evolution of the star formation rate (SFR)-environment relation from high redshifts to low redshifts seem to support the idea that galaxy-galaxy interactions and merging play a critical role in triggering the star formation activity of LIRGs and ULIRGs.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: starburst / infrared: galaxies
© ESO, 2010