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Title: Mergers in galaxy groups. I. Structure and properties of elliptical remnants

We present collisionless simulations of dry mergers in groups of 3 to 25 galaxies to test the hypothesis that elliptical galaxies form at the centers of such groups. Mock observations of the central remnants confirm their similarity to ellipticals, despite having no dissipational component. We vary the profile of the original spiral's bulge and find that ellipticals formed from spirals with exponential bulges have too low Sersic indices. Mergers of spirals with de Vaucouleurs (classical) bulges produce remnants with larger Sersic indices correlated with luminosity, as with Sloan Digital Sky Survey ellipticals. Exponential bulge mergers are better fits to faint ellipticals, whereas classical bulge mergers better match luminous ellipticals. Similarly, luminous ellipticals are better reproduced by remnants undergoing many (>5) mergers, and fainter ellipticals by those with fewer mergers. The remnants follow tight size-luminosity and velocity dispersion-luminosity (Faber-Jackson) relations (<0.12 dex scatter), demonstrating that stochastic merging can produce tight scaling relations if the merging galaxies also follow tight scaling relations. The slopes of the size-luminosity and Faber-Jackson relations are close to observations but slightly shallower in the former case. Both relations' intercepts are offset—remnants are too large but have too low dispersions at fixed luminosity. Some remnants show substantial (v/σmore » > 0.1) rotational support, although most are slow rotators and few are very fast rotators (v/σ > 0.5). These findings contrast with previous studies concluding that dissipation is necessary to produce ellipticals from binary mergers of spirals. Multiple, mostly minor and dry mergers can produce bright ellipticals, whereas significant dissipation could be required to produce faint, rapidly rotating ellipticals.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22341983
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; 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; DISPERSIONS; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; HYPOTHESIS; LUMINOSITY; SCALING; SIMULATION; SKY; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES