PI: Donovan Domingue, Georgia College & State University, email@example.com
Address: Chemistry and Physics, CBX 82, Milledgeville, GA 31061, US
CoI: C. Kevin Xu, IPAC/ Caltech
CoI: Yi-Wen Cheng, IPAC/Caltech
Title: Local Benchmarks for the Evolution of Interacting Galaxies -- Redshift and EW Measurements
Abstract: We propose to obtain GoldCam spectra and redshifts for a sample of close major-merger pairs of galaxies selected from the joint 2MASS/SDSS- DR5 database. This is to provide a highly accurate and unbiased local benchmark for studies on evolution of interacting galaxies. The parent sample containing 129 pairs is \bf complete, consisting of all pairs (in 5800 deg^2) with the primary brighter than K=12.5, projected separations of <=20 kpc and stellar mass ratios <=2.5 (``major- mergers'). The proposed sample (39 pairs, 78 galaxies) include pairs in the parent sample which have only one measured redshift for the components. By obtaining these spectra we will attain 100% redshift coverage of our selected pairs and be able to eliminate any non-physical pairs from our unbiased ``major-merger" catalog and K-band luminosity function. The K-band luminosity function and the differential pair fraction for these pairs provide the local benchmark for the density evolution of interacting galaxies.
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