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Elliptical galaxies from mergers of discs

AuthorsGonzález-García, A. César ; Balcells, Marc
Keywordsgalaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
galaxies: interactions
galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
galaxies: structure
Institute of Heritage Sciences
Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio
Issue DateFeb-2005
PublisherRoyal Astronomical Society
CitationMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 357 (2): 753-772. Oxford.
Abstract[EN]We analyse N-body galaxy merger experiments involving disc galaxies. Mergers of disc–bulge–halo models are compared to those of bulgeless, disc–halo models to quantify the effects of the central bulge on merger dynamics and the structure of the remnant. Our models explore galaxy mass ratios 1:1 through 3:1, and use higher bulge mass fractions than previous studies. A full comparison of the structural and dynamical properties with our observations is carried out. The presence of central bulges results in longer tidal tails, oblate final intrinsic shapes, surface brightness profiles with a higher Sérsic index, steeper rotation curves and oblate-rotator internal dynamics. Mergers of bulgeless galaxies do not generate long-lasting tidal tails, and their strong triaxiality seems inconsistent with observations; these remnants show shells, which we do not find in models including central bulges. Giant ellipticals with boxy isophotes and anisotropic dynamics cannot be produced by the mergers modelled here; they could be the result of mergers between lower luminosity ellipticals, themselves plausibly formed in disc-disc mergers.
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