Early-type galaxies as probes of galaxy formation and cosmology

Moresco, Michele Ennio Maria (2011) Early-type galaxies as probes of galaxy formation and cosmology, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3725.
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The goal of this thesis is to analyze the possibility of using early-type galaxies to place evolutionary and cosmological constraints, by both disentangling what is the main driver of ETGs evolution between mass and environment, and developing a technique to constrain H(z) and the cosmological parameters studying the ETGs age-redshift relation. The (U-V) rest-frame color distribution is studied as a function of mass and environment for two sample of ETGs up to z=1, extracted from the zCOSMOS survey with a new selection criterion. The color distributions and the slopes of the color-mass and color-environment relations are studied, finding a strong dependence on mass and a minor dependence on environment. The spectral analysis performed on the D4000 and Hδ features gives results validating the previous analysis. The main driver of galaxy evolution is found to be the galaxy mass, the environment playing a subdominant but non negligible role. The age distribution of ETGs is also analyzed as a function of mass, providing strong evidences supporting a downsizing scenario. The possibility of setting cosmological constraints studying the age-redshift relation is studied, discussing the relative degeneracies and model dependencies. A new approach is developed, aiming to minimize the impact of systematics on the “cosmic chronometer” method. Analyzing theoretical models, it is demonstrated that the D4000 is a feature correlated almost linearly with age at fixed metallicity, depending only minorly on the models assumed or on the SFH chosen. The analysis of a SDSS sample of ETGs shows that it is possible to use the differential D4000 evolution of the galaxies to set constraints to cosmological parameters in an almost model-independent way. Values of the Hubble constant and of the dark energy EoS parameter are found, which are not only fully compatible, but also with a comparable error budget with the latest results.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Moresco, Michele Ennio Maria
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
early-type galaxies galaxy evolution cosmological parameters constraints
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2011

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