Evolution of the stellar mass Tully-fisher relation in disk galaxy merger simulations

Matthew D. Covington, Susan A. Kassin, Aaron A. Dutton, Benjamin J. Weiner, Thomas J. Cox, Patrik Jonsson, Joel R. Primack, Sandra M. Faber, David C. Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


There is a large observational scatter toward low velocities in the stellar mass Tully-Fisher (TF) relation if disturbed and compact objects are included. However, this scatter can be eliminated if one replaces rotation velocity with S 0.5, a quantity that includes a velocity dispersion term added in quadrature with the rotation velocity. In this work, we use a large suite of hydrodynamic N-body galaxy merger simulations to explore a possible mechanism for creating the observed relations. Using mock observations of the simulations, we test for the presence of observational effects and explore the relationship between S 0.5 and intrinsic properties of the galaxies. We find that galaxy mergers can explain the scatter in the TF as well as the tight S 0.5-stellar mass relation. Furthermore, S 0.5 is correlated with the total central mass of a galaxy, including contributions due to dark matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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