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Demographics of Bulge Types within 11 Mpc and Implications for Galaxy Evolution

By David B. Fisher and Niv Drory


We present an inventory of galaxy bulge types (elliptical galaxy, classical bulge, pseudobulge, and bulgeless galaxy) in a volume-limited sample within the local 11 Mpc volume using Spitzer 3.6 micron and HST data. We find that whether counting by number, star formation rate, or stellar mass, the dominant galaxy type in the local universe has pure disk characteristics (either hosting a pseudobulge or being bulgeless). Galaxies that contain either a pseudobulge or no bulge combine to account for over 80% of the number of galaxies above a stellar mass of 10^9 M_sun. Classical bulges and elliptical galaxies account for ~1/4, and disks for ~3/4 of the stellar mass in the local 11 Mpc. About 2/3 of all star formation in the local volume takes place in galaxies with pseudobulges. Looking at the fraction of galaxies with different bulge types as a function of stellar mass, we find that the frequency of classical bulges strongly increases with stellar mass, and comes to dominate above 10^{10.5} M_sun. Galaxies with pseudobulges dominate at 10^{9.5}-10^{10.5} M_sun. Yet lower-mass galaxies are most likely to be bulgeless. If pseudobulges are not a product of mergers, then the frequency of pseudobulges in the local universe poses a challenge for galaxy evolution models.Comment: accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/2041-8205/733/2/L47
OAI identifier:
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