Astrocladisctics : toward a phylogenetic classification of galaxies

This set of papers is an attempt to open new avenues to classify galaxies using concepts and methods of phylogenetic. The story began with stimulating and very enjoyable discussions with Didier Fraix-Burnet (OSUG). I am very grateful to Didier for having initiating and continuing this scientific adventure. It is fair to say that the community of astrophysicians is still skeptical on the relevance of this approach. It is difficult to overturn traditionnal classification schemes, dating back to Hubble in the 1930s.  The debate is open.

More on Didier's blog and webpage + a short and popular article published in Science et Vie (in French)

  • Fraix-Burnet, D., P. Choler, and E.J.P. Douzery. 2006. Towards a phylogenetic analysis of galaxy evolution: a case study with the dwarf galaxies of the Local Group. Astronomy & Astrophysics 455:845-U852. [pdf]

  • Fraix-Burnet, D., P. Choler, E.J.P. Douzery, and A. Verhamme. 2006. Astrocladistics: A phylogenetic analysis of galaxy evolution I. Character evolutions and galaxy histories. Journal of Classification 23:31-56. [pdf]

  • Fraix-Burnet, D., P. Choler, E.J.P. Douzery, and A. Verhamme. 2006. Astrocladistics: A phylogenetic analysis of galaxy evolution II. Formation and diversification of galaxies. Journal of Classification 23:57-78. [pdf]

  • Fraix-Burnet, D., P. Choler, and E.J.P. Douzery. 2003. What can biologists say about galaxy evolution? Astrophysics and Space Science 284:535-538. [pdf]

 
Phylogenetic relationships of 14 Dwarf galaxies of the Local Group obtained with 24 characters (observables and derived quantities). Bootstrap values (above) and Decay indices (below) are indicated for each node. The outgroup (SagDig) has been chosen because it has the lowest amount of metallic material, suggesting that it is made up of more primordial material (Fraix-Burnet et al 2006 for details on this work).