Post-starburst galaxies paper submitted!
Today’s blog post is from Ivy Wong:
Hello Zoo-ites! I’m a work colleague of Kevin’s and I just recently submitted a Galaxy Zoo paper too. I just wanted to let you know all about it because I also wanted to thank you all for the great work which you’ve done in classifying so many galaxies. I am quite excited by the results and hope that it will be published soon. My research interests spans from understanding the processes of star formation to the evolution of galaxies and the Universe as we see today.
Ivy’s research assistants
The Galaxy Zoo paper that I just submitted consists of nearby galaxies which appear to be transitioning from being star-forming to passively-evolving galaxies. In particular, I looked at a sample of post-starburst galaxies (PSG). These PSG had a recent burst of star formation but they have since ceased forming stars. Thanks to the compilation of all the morphology classifications and the merger votes produced by the Zoo-ites, we were able to determine that most of these PSG have an indeterminate morphology with a higher fraction of interaction than regular spirals or ellipticals. It is possible that these interactions were responsible for the burst of star formation as well as the disturbed galaxy morphology.
The majority of PSG are low-mass but most of their stellar distribution already resemble those of ellipticals. However, they are still somewhat “green” and will likely turn red once the starlight of the youngest population of stars start to fade. Therefore these nearby PSG will probably end up as redder, low-mass and more passively-evolving galaxies. This result agrees with previous works asserting that the most massive and passively-evolving galaxies were formed at earlier times in the history of the Universe.