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Title: COLD MOLECULAR GAS IN MERGER REMNANTS. I. FORMATION OF MOLECULAR GAS DISKS

We present the ≲1 kpc resolution {sup 12}CO imaging study of 37 optically selected local merger remnants using new and archival interferometric maps obtained with ALMA, CARMA, the Submillimeter Array, and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer. We supplement a sub-sample with single-dish measurements obtained at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory 45 m telescope for estimating the molecular gas mass (10{sup 7} {sup –} {sup 11} M {sub ☉}) and evaluating the missing flux of the interferometric measurements. Among the sources with robust CO detections, we find that 80% (24/30) of the sample show kinematical signatures of rotating molecular gas disks (including nuclear rings) in their velocity fields, and the sizes of these disks vary significantly from 1.1 kpc to 9.3 kpc. The size of the molecular gas disks in 54% of the sources is more compact than the K-band effective radius. These small gas disks may have formed from a past gas inflow that was triggered by a dynamical instability during a potential merging event. On the other hand, the rest (46%) of the sources have gas disks that are extended relative to the stellar component, possibly forming a late-type galaxy with a central stellar bulge. Our new compilation of observationalmore » data suggests that nuclear and extended molecular gas disks are common in the final stages of mergers. This finding is consistent with recent major-merger simulations of gas-rich progenitor disks. Finally, we suggest that some of the rotation-supported turbulent disks observed at high redshifts may result from galaxies that have experienced a recent major merger.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka,Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)
  2. Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)
  3. Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041 (United States)
  5. Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8577 (Japan)
  6. Institute of Astronomy, The University of Tokyo, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka,Tokyo 181-0015 (Japan)
  7. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  8. Department of Astronomical Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340175
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series; Journal Volume: 214; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; GALAXIES; INTERFEROMETERS; MAPS; MASS; RED SHIFT; RESOLUTION; ROTATION; SIMULATION; TELESCOPES