Distant ring galaxies as evidence for a steeply increasing galaxy interaction rate with redshift Academic Article uri icon


  • Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) images of the Local Group dwarf galaxy Tucana reveal an unbiased sample of distant field galaxies. While a large number of these galaxies can be classified according to standard Hubble types, a significant number of these galaxies can be identified as "ring" galaxies, a morphology likely induced through galaxy collisions. We have identified seven ring galaxy candidates in our fields. Assuming that these galaxies lie between the redshifts of 0.1 and 1 and that there has been no evolution in the galaxy interaction rate, then the probability of finding a single ring galaxy in our field of view is less than 1%. Alternatively, if the galaxy interaction rate increases as (1 + z)4.5, which represents a high-end estimate of the dependence of the galaxy merger rate on redshift, the probability increases to ∼10%. Thus, these observations provide support for a galaxy interaction rate that increases steeply at moderate redshift. We also suggest several additional factors that may play an important role in producing the relatively large number of ring galaxies we have detected. © 1996. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Lavery, R. J., Seitzer, P., Suntzeff, N. B., Walker, A. R., & Costa, G

complete list of authors

  • Lavery, RJ||Seitzer, P||Suntzeff, NB||Walker, AR||Costa, GSDA

publication date

  • January 1, 1998 11:11 AM