Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): Variation in Galaxy Structure Across the Green Valley

Lee, Kelvin S, Bremer, Malcolm N, Phillipps, Steven, James, Philip A, Davies, Luke J M, De Propris, Roberto, Moffett, Amanda J, Percival, Susan M, Baldry, Ivan K et al (2018) Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): Variation in Galaxy Structure Across the Green Valley. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 477 (3). pp. 4116-4130. ISSN 0035-8711

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Using a sample of 472 local Universe (z < 0.06) galaxies in the stellar mass range
10.25 < log M*/MG < 10.75, we explore the variation in galaxy structure as a function of morphology and galaxy colour. Our sample of galaxies is sub-divided into red, green and blue colour groups and into elliptical and non-elliptical (disk-type) morphologies.
Using KiDS and VIKING derived postage stamp images, a group of eight volunteers visually classified bars, rings, morphological lenses, tidal streams, shells and signs of merger activity for all systems. We find a significant surplus of rings (2.3σ) and lenses (2.9σ) in disk-type galaxies as they transition across the green valley. Combined, this implies a joint ring/lens green valley surplus significance of 3.3σ relative to equivalent disk-types within either the blue cloud or the red sequence. We recover a bar fraction of ∼ 44% which remains flat with colour, however, we find that the presence of a bar acts to modulate the incidence of rings and (to a lesser extent) lenses, with rings in barred disk-type galaxies more common by ∼ 20 − 30 percentage points relative to their unbarred counterparts, regardless of colour. Additionally, green valley disk-type galaxies with a bar exhibit a significant 3.0σ surplus of lenses relative to their blue/red analogues. The existence of such structures rules out violent transformative events as the primary end-of-life evolutionary mechanism, with a more passive scenario the favoured candidate for the majority of galaxies rapidly transitioning across the green valley.
Key words: galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD – galaxies: spiral – galaxies: evo- lution – galaxies: star formation – galaxies: statistics – galaxies: structure

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