Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc. 333, 481-494 (2002)

Formation of gas disks in merging galaxies

Joshua E. Barnes

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii,
2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822


Observations indicate that much of the interstellar gas in merging galaxies may settle into extended gaseous disks. Here, I present simulations of disk formation in mergers of gas-rich galaxies. Up to half of the total gas settles into embedded disks; the most massive instances result from encounters in which both galaxies are inclined to the orbital plane. These disks are often warped, many have rather complex kinematics, and roughly a quarter have counter-rotating or otherwise decoupled central components. Disks typically grow from the inside out; infall from tidal tails may continue disk formation over long periods of time.


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Last modified: June 27, 2002