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We use a combination of deep, high angular resolution imaging data from the CDFS (HST/ACS GOODS survey) and ground based near-IR K_s images to derive the evolution of the galaxy major merger rate in the redshift range 0.2 ≤ z ≤ 1.2. We select galaxies on the sole basis of their J-band rest-frame, absolute magnitude, which is a good tracer of the stellar mass. We find steep evolution with redshift, with the merger rate ∝ (1+z)^3.43±0.49 for optically selected pairs, and ∝ (1+z)^2.18±0.18 fordoi:10.1086/588774 fatcat:ffewt4ho7naojmzjqdahf5d7iy