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Mapping galaxy encounters in numerical simulations: the spatial extent of induced star formation

Moreno, Jorge and Torrey, Paul and Ellison, Sara L. and Patton, David R. and Bluck, Asa F. L. and Bansal, Gunjan and Hernquist, Lars (2015) Mapping galaxy encounters in numerical simulations: the spatial extent of induced star formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 448 (2). pp. 1107-1117. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We employ a suite of 75 simulations of galaxies in idealized major mergers (stellar mass ratio ∼2.5:1), with a wide range of orbital parameters, to investigate the spatial extent of interaction-induced star formation. Although the total star formation in galaxy encounters is generally elevated relative to isolated galaxies, we find that this elevation is a combination of intense enhancements within the central kpc and moderately suppressed activity at larger galactocentric radii. The radial dependence of the star formation enhancement is stronger in the less massive galaxy than in the primary, and is also more pronounced in mergers of more closely aligned disc spin orientations. Conversely, these trends are almost entirely independent of the encounter's impact parameter and orbital eccentricity. Our predictions of the radial dependence of triggered star formation, and specifically the suppression of star formation beyond kpc-scales, will be testable with the next generation of integral-field spectroscopic surveys.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Torrey, Paul0000-0002-5653-0786
Ellison, Sara L.0000-0002-1768-1899
Hernquist, Lars0000-0001-6950-1629
Additional Information:© 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 January 14. Received 2015 January 13; in original form 2014 December 9. First published online February 9, 2015. The computations in this paper were run on the Odyssey cluster supported by the FAS Division of Science, Research Computing Group at Harvard University. JM acknowledges the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics for partial funding, and Phil Hopkins for being a wonderful host towards the end of this project. JM, SLE, DRP, and AFLB are funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research. GB thanks MITACS for making her stay in Victoria possible. The authors thank the referee, Frédéric Bournaud, for a timely review that greatly improved this paper – as well as Phil Hopkins and Florent Renaud for useful discussions on an earlier draft. JM thanks the organizers and participants of 3D2014: Gas and stars in galaxies: A multi-wavelength 3D perspective (Munich, 2014 March) and Galaxies in 3D across the universe (Vienna, 2014 July) for instigating incredibly engaging discussions on this subject.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Institute for Theoretical AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: interactions; galaxies: star formation
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150403-073627770
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Official Citation:Jorge Moreno, Paul Torrey, Sara L. Ellison, David R. Patton, Asa F. L. Bluck, Gunjan Bansal, and Lars Hernquist Mapping galaxy encounters in numerical simulations: the spatial extent of induced star formation MNRAS (April 1, 2015) Vol. 448 1107-1117 doi:10.1093/mnras/stv094 First published online February 9, 2015
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56323
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Apr 2015 20:00
Last Modified:06 Nov 2019 03:47

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