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Title: SIGNATURES OF THE M31-M32 GALACTIC COLLISION

The unusual morphologies of the Andromeda spiral galaxy (M31) and its dwarf companion M32 have been characterized observationally in great detail. The two galaxies' apparent proximity suggests that Andromeda's prominent star-forming ring as well as M32's compact elliptical (cE) structure may result from a recent collision. Here we present the first self-consistent model of the M31-M32 interaction that simultaneously reproduces observed positions, velocities, and morphologies for both galaxies. Andromeda's spiral structure is resolved in unprecedented detail, showing that a rare head-on orbit is not necessary to match Andromeda's ring-like morphology. The passage of M32 through Andromeda's disk perturbs the disk velocity structure. We find tidal stripping of M32's stars to be inefficient during the interaction, suggesting that some cEs are intrinsically compact. Additionally, the orbital solution implies that M32 is currently closer to the Milky Way than models have typically assumed, a prediction that may be testable with upcoming observations.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astronomy Department, Harvard University, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, CSS 1204, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365772
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; MILKY WAY; MORPHOLOGY; ORBITS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STRIPPING; VELOCITY