merging and clustering

I wrote the following abstract, for a paper I will probably never write! Note how confidently I can tell you the conclusion before doing the research.

Abstract: Any galaxy–galaxy merger event must be preceded by a period in which the two pre-merger galaxies formed a close pair, therefore any estimate of the merger rate puts a constraint on some galaxy–galaxy cross- or auto-correlation function at small scales. Because the timescales for merging are not known exactly, and because galaxy correlations arise from processes not always related to merging, these constraints are not precise; nonetheless, when made with conservative assumptions, they are still very informative. Here we review published galaxy–galaxy merger rates and use them to put conservative constraints on various galaxy–galaxy cross-correlation functions, with different assumptions about merging timescales. We find that many merger rates make easily falsified predictions for galaxy correlations. Present-day measurements of galaxy clustering on small scales are only consistent with the lowest published merger rates.


  1. Even if you never write that paper, your abstract would make a killer scrolling intro for the next Star Wars sequel.

  2. Your last statement about the comparisons between correlation functions and merger rates seems important. Any further comments on that?