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Stellar and gaseous nuclear disks observed in nearby (U)LIRGs


Medling, Anne M; U, Vivian; Guedes, Javiera; Max, Claire E; Mayer, Lucio; Armus, Lee; Holden, Bradford; Roškar, Rok; Sanders, David (2014). Stellar and gaseous nuclear disks observed in nearby (U)LIRGs. Astrophysical Journal, 784(1):70-101.

Abstract

We present near-infrared integral field spectroscopy of the central kiloparsec of 17 nearby luminous and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies undergoing major mergers. These observations were taken with OSIRIS assisted by the Keck I and II Adaptive Optics systems, providing spatial resolutions of a few tens of parsecs. The resulting kinematic maps reveal gas disks in at least 16 out of 19 nuclei and stellar disks in 11 out of 11 nuclei observed in these galaxy merger systems. In our late-stages mergers, these disks are young (stellar ages <30 Myr) and likely formed as gas disks that became unstable to star formation during the merger. On average, these disks have effective radii of a few hundred parsecs, masses between 108 and 1010 M ⊙, and v/σ between 1 and 5. These disks are similar to those created in high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of gas-rich galaxy mergers, and favor short coalescence times for binary black holes. The few galaxies in our sample in earlier stages of mergers have disks that are larger (r eff ~ 200-1800 pc) and are likely remnants of the galactic disks that have not yet been completely disrupted by the merger.

Abstract

We present near-infrared integral field spectroscopy of the central kiloparsec of 17 nearby luminous and ultra-luminous infrared galaxies undergoing major mergers. These observations were taken with OSIRIS assisted by the Keck I and II Adaptive Optics systems, providing spatial resolutions of a few tens of parsecs. The resulting kinematic maps reveal gas disks in at least 16 out of 19 nuclei and stellar disks in 11 out of 11 nuclei observed in these galaxy merger systems. In our late-stages mergers, these disks are young (stellar ages <30 Myr) and likely formed as gas disks that became unstable to star formation during the merger. On average, these disks have effective radii of a few hundred parsecs, masses between 108 and 1010 M ⊙, and v/σ between 1 and 5. These disks are similar to those created in high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of gas-rich galaxy mergers, and favor short coalescence times for binary black holes. The few galaxies in our sample in earlier stages of mergers have disks that are larger (r eff ~ 200-1800 pc) and are likely remnants of the galactic disks that have not yet been completely disrupted by the merger.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 14:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:01
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:0004-637X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/784/1/70

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