We present a new catalog of merging galaxies obtained through an automated systematic search routine. The 1479 new pairs of merging galaxies were found in ~462 square degrees of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Early Data Release (SDSS EDR) photometric data, and the pair catalog is complete for galaxies in the magnitude range 16.0<=g*<=20. The selection algorithm, implementing a variation on the original Karachentsev criteria, proved to be very efficient and fast. Merging galaxies were selected such that the intergalaxy separations were less than the sum of the component galaxies' radii. We discuss the characteristics of the sample in terms of completeness, pair separation, and the Holmberg effect. We also present an on-line atlas of images for the SDSS EDR pairs obtained using the corrected frames from the SDSS EDR database. The atlas images also include the relevant data for each pair member. This catalog will be useful for conducting studies of the general characteristics of merging galaxies, their environments, and their component galaxies. The redshifts for a subset of the interacting and merging galaxies and the distribution of angular sizes for these systems indicate the SDSS provides a much deeper sample than almost any other wide-area catalog to date.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- April 2004
- Galaxies: Interactions;
- 58 pages, which includes 15 figures and 6 tables. Figures 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14 are provided as JPEG files. For online atlas, see http://home.fnal.gov/~sallam/MergePair/ . Accepted for publication in AJ