We review the physical properties of nearby, relatively luminous galaxies, using results from newly available massive data sets together with more detailed observations. First, we present the global distribution of properties, including the optical and ultraviolet (UV) luminosity, stellar mass, and atomic gas mass functions. Second, we describe the shift of the galaxy population from late galaxy types in underdense regions to early galaxy types in overdense regions. We emphasize that the scaling relations followed by each galaxy type change very little with environment, with the exception of some minor but detectable effects. The shift in the population is apparent even at the densities of small groups and therefore cannot be exclusively due to physical processes operating in rich clusters. Third, we divide galaxies into four crude types—spiral, lenticular, elliptical, and merging systems—and describe some of their more detailed properties. We attempt to put these detailed properties into the global context provided by large surveys.
Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- September 2009
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 47, in press, full resolution version at http://howdy.physics.nyu.edu/index.php/Blanton_and_Moustakas_ARAA_47