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The formation of stellar nuclear discs in bar-induced gas inflows


Cole, David R; Debattista, Victor P; Erwin, Peter; Earp, Samuel W F; Roškar, Rok (2014). The formation of stellar nuclear discs in bar-induced gas inflows. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 445(4):3352-3369.

Abstract

The role of gas in the mass assembly at the nuclei of galaxies is still subject to some uncertainty. Stellar nuclear discs bridge the gap between the large-scale galaxy and the central massive objects that reside there. Using a high-resolution simulation of a galaxy forming out of gas cooling and settling into a disc, we study the formation and properties of nuclear discs. Gas, driven to the centre by a bar, settles into a rotating star-forming nuclear disc (ND). This ND is thinner, younger, kinematically cooler and more metal rich than the surrounding bar. The ND is elliptical and orthogonal to the bar. The complex kinematics in the region of the ND are a result of the superposition of older stars streaming along the bar and younger stars circulating within the ND. The signature of the ND is therefore subtle in the kinematics. Instead the ND stands out clearly in metallicity and age maps. We compare the model to the density and kinematics of real galaxies with NDs finding qualitative similarities. Our results suggest that gas dissipation is very important for forming nuclear structures

Abstract

The role of gas in the mass assembly at the nuclei of galaxies is still subject to some uncertainty. Stellar nuclear discs bridge the gap between the large-scale galaxy and the central massive objects that reside there. Using a high-resolution simulation of a galaxy forming out of gas cooling and settling into a disc, we study the formation and properties of nuclear discs. Gas, driven to the centre by a bar, settles into a rotating star-forming nuclear disc (ND). This ND is thinner, younger, kinematically cooler and more metal rich than the surrounding bar. The ND is elliptical and orthogonal to the bar. The complex kinematics in the region of the ND are a result of the superposition of older stars streaming along the bar and younger stars circulating within the ND. The signature of the ND is therefore subtle in the kinematics. Instead the ND stands out clearly in metallicity and age maps. We compare the model to the density and kinematics of real galaxies with NDs finding qualitative similarities. Our results suggest that gas dissipation is very important for forming nuclear structures

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Astronomy and Astrophysics
Physical Sciences > Space and Planetary Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:galaxies: bulges, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: nuclei, galaxies: structure
Language:English
Date:21 December 2014
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:24
Last Modified:22 Jul 2021 17:07
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1985

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