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Galaxy Zoo: Mergers – Dynamical models of interacting galaxies

Holincheck, Anthony J.; Wallin, John F.; Borne, Kirk; Fortson, Lucy; Lintott, Chris; Smith, Arfon M.; Bamford, Steven; Keel, William C.; Parrish, Michael

Authors

Anthony J. Holincheck

John F. Wallin

Kirk Borne

Lucy Fortson

Chris Lintott

Arfon M. Smith

Steven Bamford

William C. Keel

Michael Parrish



Abstract

The dynamical history of most merging galaxies is not well understood. Correlations between galaxy interaction and star formation have been found in previous studies, but require the context of the physical history of merging systems for full insight into the processes that lead to enhanced star formation. We present the results of simulations that reconstruct the orbit trajectories and disturbed morphologies of pairs of interacting galaxies. With the use of a restricted three-body simulation code and the help of citizen scientists, we sample 105 points in parameter space for each system. We demonstrate a successful recreation of the morphologies of 62 pairs of interacting galaxies through the review of more than 3 million simulations. We examine the level of convergence and uniqueness of the dynamical properties of each system. These simulations represent the largest collection of models of interacting galaxies to date, providing a valuable resource for the investigation of mergers. This paper presents the simulation parameters generated by the project. They are now publicly available in electronic format at http://data.galaxyzoo.org/mergers.html. Though our best-fitting model parameters are not an exact match to previously published models, our method for determining uncertainty measurements will aid future comparisons between models. The dynamical clocks from our models agree with previous results of the time since the onset of star formation from starburst models in interacting systems and suggest that tidally induced star formation is triggered very soon after closest approach.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 11, 2016
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 459
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Holincheck, A. J., Wallin, J. F., Borne, K., Fortson, L., Lintott, C., Smith, A. M., …Parrish, M. (2016). Galaxy Zoo: Mergers – Dynamical models of interacting galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 459(1), https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw649
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw649
Keywords methods: numerical ; galaxies: interactions ; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics ; galaxies: peculiar.
Publisher URL http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/459/1/720
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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