Starbursts in Galaxy Mergers

Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 23 -- Emission-Line, Starburst and Ultra-Luminous Galaxies
Oral presentation, Monday, 2:30-4:00, Wheeler Room

[23.02] Starbursts in Galaxy Mergers

C. Mihos, L. Hernquist (UCSC)

We have constructed numerical models of star-forming disk galaxies in order to investigate the triggering of starbursts during galaxy encounters. These fully self-gravitating disk/halo/ISM models employ an N-body tree structure to calculate the gravitational forces, smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) to model the ISM dynamics, and a composite Jean's criterion/Schmidt law to calculate star formation rates. The models include feedback effects such as gas depletion from star formation and energy deposition into the ISM from supernovae. Due to the fine spatial and temporal resolution of these models, they are well-suited for the study of star formation in interacting and merging disk galaxies.

We use these models to explore the star forming properties of two merger scenarios: a major merger of two disk galaxies and the accretion of a small companion by a larger disk galaxy. The star forming properties of these models are interpreted in the context of the formation of starburst galaxies and the ultraluminous (L$_{\rm FIR} > 10^{12}$ L\sun) infrared galaxies. The remnant structures are then compared to properties of E and S0 galaxies in order to probe the merger hypothesis for the formation of early type galaxies.

Monday program listing