[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present smoothed particle hydrodynamic models of the interactions in the
compact galaxy group, Stephan's Quintet. This work is extension of the earlier
collisionless N-body simulations of Renaud et al. in which the large-scale
stellar morphology of the group was modeled with a series of galaxy-galaxy
interactions in the simulations. Including thermohydrodynamic effects in this
work, we further investigate the dynamical interaction history and evolution of
the intergalactic gas of Stephan's Quintet. The major features of the group,
such as the extended tidal features and the group-wide shock, enabled us to
constrain the models reasonably well, while trying to reproduce multiple
features of the system. We found that reconstructing the two long tails
extending from NGC 7319 toward NGC 7320c one after the other in two separate
encounters is very difficult and unlikely, because the second encounter usually
destroys or distorts the already-generated tidal structure. Our models suggest
the two long tails may be formed simultaneously from a single encounter between
NGC 7319 and 7320c, resulting in a thinner and denser inner tail than the outer
one. The tails then also run parallel to each other as observed. The model
results support the ideas that the group-wide shock detected in
multi-wavelength observations between NGC 7319 and 7318b and the starburst
region north of NGC 7318b are triggered by the high-speed collision between NGC
7318b and the intergalactic gas. Our models show that a gas bridge is formed by
the high-speed collision and clouds in the bridge continue to interact for some
tens of millions of years after the impact. This produces many small shocks in
that region, resulting a much longer cooling time than that of a single impact
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2011; 419(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19847.x · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have discovered long-lived waves in two sets of numerical models of fast (marginally bound or unbound) flyby galaxy collisions, carried out independently with two different codes. In neither simulation set are the spirals the result of a collision-induced bar formation. Although there is variation in the appearance of the waves with time, they do not disappear and reform recurrently, as seen in other cases described in the literature. We also present an analytic theory that can account for the wave structure, not as propagating transients, nor as a fixed pattern propagating through the disc. While these waves propagate through the disc, they are mantained by the coherent oscillations initiated by the impulsive disturbance. Specifically, the analytic theory suggests that they are caustic waves in ensembles of stars pursuing correlated epicyclic orbits after the disturbance. This theory is an extension of that developed by Struck and collaborators for colliding ring galaxies.
The models suggest that this type of wave may persist for a couple of Gyr, and galaxy interactions occur on comparable time-scales, so waves produced by the mechanism may be well represented in observed spirals. In particular, this mechanism can account for the tightly wound, and presumably long-lived, spirals seen in some nearby early-type galaxies. These spirals are also likely to be common in groups and clusters, where fast encounters between galaxies occur relatively frequently. However, as the spirals become tightly wound, and evolve to modest amplitudes, they may be difficult to resolve unless they are nearby. None the less, the effect may be one of several processes that result from galaxy harassment, and via wave-enhanced star formation, contributes to the Butcher–Oemler effect.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2011; 414(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18568.x · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) models to study the large-scale morphology and dynamical evolution of the intergalactic gas in Stephan's Quintet, and compare to multiwavelength observations. Specifically, we model the formation of the hot X-ray gas, the large-scale shock, and emission line gas as the result of NGC 7318b colliding with the group. We also reproduce the N-body model of Renaud and Appleton for the tidal structures in the group. Comment: To appear in the Proceedings of the Galaxy Wars: Stellar Populations and Star Formation in Interacting Galaxies Conference
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present Spitzer infrared, Galaxy Evolution Explorer UV, and Sloan Digitized Sky Survey and Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy optical images of the peculiar interacting galaxy pair Arp 285 (NGC 2856/4), and compare with a new numerical model of the interaction. We estimate the ages of clumps of star formation in these galaxies using population synthesis models, carefully considering the uncertainties on these ages. This system contains a striking example of "beads on a string": a series of star-formation complexes ~1 kpc apart. These "beads" are found in a tail-like feature that is perpendicular to the disk of NGC 2856, which implies that it was formed from material accreted from the companion NGC 2854. The extreme blueness of the optical/UV colors and redness of the mid-infrared colors implies very young stellar ages (~4-20 Myr) for these star-forming regions. Spectral decomposition of these "beads" shows excess emission above the modeled stellar continuum in the 3.6 μm and 4.5 μm bands, indicating either contributions from interstellar matter to these fluxes or a second older stellar population. These clumps have –12.0 < M_B < –10.6, thus they are less luminous than most dwarf galaxies. Our model suggests that bridge material falling into the potential of the companion overshoots the companion. The gas then piles up at apogalacticon before falling back onto the companion, and star formation occurs in the pile-up. There was a time delay of ~500 Myr between the point of closest approach between the two galaxies and the initiation of star formation in this feature. A luminous (M_B ~ –13.6) extended (FWHM ~ 1.3 kpc) "bright spot" is visible at the northwestern edge of the NGC 2856 disk, with an intermediate stellar population (400-1500 Myr). Our model suggests that this feature is part of a expanding ripple-like "arc" created by an off-center ring-galaxy-like collision between the two disks.
The Astronomical Journal 03/2008; 135(6). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/135/6/2406 · 4.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Taffy galaxies, a head-on collision between two gas-rich equal-mass galaxies has occurred, stripping out a large quantity of gas from the disks, and creating a radio continuum-bright bridge between the two galaxies. To better understand the physics of dust formation, excitation, and destruction, an examination of the dust properties in these unusual systems would be useful. We propose to use Spitzer to obtain mid-infrared images of two candidate Taffy systems, UGC 813/6 and Arp 261. We will use these images to search for dust associated with the bridge, and to test for PAH destruction or dust heating by shocks during the impact. We will compare the data for these two systems with archival Spitzer data for the first Taffy galaxy discovered, UGC 12914/5. We will also compare with results from a Spitzer imaging survey of nearby interacting galaxies that we have recently completed, and with numerical simulations of the collisions between the galaxies.