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Paper: Forty Years of Research on Isolated Galaxies
Volume: 421, Galaxies in Isolation: Exploring Nature Versus Nurture
Page: 3
Authors: Sulentic, J.
Abstract: Isolated galaxies have not been a hot topic over the past four decades. This is partly due to uncertainties about their existence. Are there galaxies isolated enough to be interesting? Do they exist in sufficient numbers to be statistically useful? Most attempts to compile isolated galaxy lists were marginally successful–too small number and not very isolated galaxies. If really isolated galaxies do exist then their value becomes obvious in a Universe where effects of interactions and environment (i.e. nurture) are important. They provide a means for better quantifying effects of nurture. The Catalog of Isolated Galaxies (CIG) compiled by Valentina Karachentseva appeared near the beginning of the review period. It becomes the focus of this review because of its obvious strengths and because the AMIGA project has increased its utility through a refinement (a vetted CIG). It contains almost 1000 galaxies with nearest neighbor crossing times of 1-3Gyr. It is large enough to serve as a zero-point or control sample. The galaxies in the CIG (and the distribution of galaxy types) may be significantly different than those in even slightly richer environments. The AMIGA-CIG, and future iterations, may be able to tell us something about galaxy formation. It may also allow us to better define intrinsic (natural) correlations like e.g. Fisher-Tully and FIR-OPTICAL. Correlations can be better defined when the dispersion added by external stimuli (nurture) is minimized or removed.
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