The axis ratio distribution of local and distant galaxies

Stephen C. Odewahn, David Burstein, Rogier Windhorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Surface photometry from 16 HST/WFPC2 fields in the I814 -band filter is used to derive the distribution of apparent axis ratios for galaxies in progressively fainter magnitude intervals for I814 ≤ 25. We assess the systematic and accidental errors in ellipticity measurements as a function of image resolution and signal-to-noise ratio, and statistically correct for the effect of cosmological surface brightness dimming on our isophotal measurements. The axis ratio distribution for the local galaxy population was computed using log R25 measurements for 1569 RC3 galaxies with BT ≤ 13 mag. Nonparametric tests are used to show that our distant samples, in the redshift range 0.1 ≲ z ≲ 1.0-1.5, are not statistically different from the local sample. We present image montages of galaxies selected randomly from different axis ratio and apparent magnitude ranges and discuss the evolutionary consequences of the lack of a strong difference between the ellipticity distributions in near and far data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2219-2231
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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