Simulations of binary galaxy mergers and the link with fast rotators, slow rotators, and kinematically distinct cores

Maxime Bois*, Eric Emsellem, Frédéric Bournaud, Katherine Alatalo, Leo Blitz, Martin Bureau, Michele Cappellari, Roger L. Davies, Timothy A. Davis, P. T. de Zeeuw, Pierre-Alain Duc, Sadegh Khochfar, Davor Krajnović, Harald Kuntschner, Pierre-Yves Lablanche, Richard M. McDermid, Raffaella Morganti, Thorsten Naab, Tom Oosterloo, Marc SarziNicholas Scott, Paolo Serra, Anne-Marie Weijmans, Lisa M. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


We study the formation of early-type galaxies (ETGs) through mergers with a sample of 70 high-resolution numerical simulations of binary mergers of disc galaxies. These simulations encompass various mass ratios, initial conditions and orbital parameters. We find that binary mergers of disc galaxies with mass ratios of 3:1 and 6:1 are nearly always classified as Fast Rotators according to the ATLAS(3D) criterion: they preserve the structure of the input fast rotating spiral progenitors. Major disc mergers (mass ratios of 2:1 and 1:1) lead to both Fast and Slow Rotators. Most of the Slow Rotators hold a stellar Kinematically Distinct Core (KDC) in their 1-3 central kilo-parsec: these KDCs are built from the stellar components of the progenitors. The mass ratio of the progenitors is a fundamental parameter for the formation of Slow Rotators in binary mergers, but it also requires a retrograde spin for the progenitor galaxies with respect to the orbital angular momentum. The importance of the initial spin of the progenitors is also investigated in the library of galaxy mergers of the GalMer project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGalaxy mergers in an evolving universe
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of a conference held at Farglory Hotel, Hualien, Taiwan 23–28 October 2011
EditorsWei-Hsin Sun, C. Kevin Xu, Nick Z. Scoville, David B. Sanders
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781583818398
ISBN (Print)9781583818381
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Galaxy Mergers in an Evolving Universe - Hualien
Duration: 23 Oct 201128 Oct 2011

Publication series

NameAstronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific


ConferenceInternational Conference on Galaxy Mergers in an Evolving Universe


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