The PAU survey: close galaxy pairs identification and analysis

E. J. Gonzalez, F. Rodriguez, D. Navarro-Gironés, Enrique Gaztanaga, M. Siudek, D. Garcıa Lambas, A. L. O’Mill, P. Renard, L. Cabayol, Jorge Carretero, R. Casas, Juan de Vicente, E. Sánchez, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, P. Tallada-Crespí, A. Wittje

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Galaxy pairs constitute the initial building blocks of galaxy evolution, which is driven through merger events and interactions. Thus, the analysis of these systems can be valuable in understanding galaxy evolution and studying structure formation. In this work, we present a new publicly available catalogue of close galaxy pairs identified using photometric redshifts provided by the Physics of the Accelerating Universe Survey (PAUS). To efficiently detect them, we take advantage of the high-precision photo-z (σ68 < 0.02) and apply an identification algorithm previously tested using simulated data. This algorithm considers the projected distance between the galaxies (rp < 50 kpc), the projected velocity difference (ΔV < 3500 km s-1) and an isolation criterion to obtain the pair sample. We applied this technique to the total sample of galaxies provided by PAUS and to a subset with high-quality redshift estimates. Finally, the most relevant result we achieved was determining the mean mass for several subsets of galaxy pairs selected according to their total luminosity, colour, and redshift, using galaxy-galaxy lensing estimates. For pairs selected from the total sample of PAUS with a mean r-band luminosity 1010.6 h-2 L⊙, we obtain a mean mass of M200 = 1012.2 h-1 M⊙, compatible with the mass-luminosity ratio derived for elliptical galaxies. We also study the mass-to-light ratio M/L as a function of the luminosity L and find a lower M/L (or steeper slope with L) for pairs than the one extrapolated from the measurements in groups and galaxy clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5655-5668
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Gravitational lensing: weak
  • Galaxies: groups: general
  • Galaxies: haloes

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