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[ascl:2011.008] GOTHIC: Double nuclei galaxy detector

GOTHIC (Graph-bOosTed iterated HIll Climbing) detects whether a given image of a galaxy has characteristic features of a double nuclei galaxy (DNG). Galaxy interactions and mergers play a crucial role in the hierarchical growth of structure in the universe; galaxy mergers can lead to the formation of elliptical galaxies and larger disk galaxies, as well as drive galaxy evolution through star formation and nuclear activity. During mergers, the nuclei of the individual galaxies come closer and finally form a double nuclei galaxy. Although mergers are common, the detection of double-nuclei galaxies (DNGs) is rare and fairly serendipitous. Their properties can help us understand the formation of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries, dual active galactic nuclei (DAGN) and the associated feedback effects. GOTHIC provides an automatic and systematic way to survey data for the discovery of double nuclei galaxies.

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