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GRAVITATIONAL FRAGMENTATION IN GALAXY MERGERS: A STABILITY CRITERION

Authors
Journal
The Astrophysical Journal
0004-637X
Publisher
American Astronomical Society
Publication Date
Volume
763
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1088/0004-637x/763/1/39
Keywords
  • Galaxies: Formation
  • Galaxies: Interactions
  • Galaxies: Star Clusters: General
  • Online-Only Material: Color Figures

Abstract

We study the gravitational stability of gaseous streams in the complex environment of a galaxy merger, because mergers are known to be places of ongoing massive cluster formation and bursts of star formation. We find an analytic stability parameter for the case of gaseous streams orbiting around the merger remnant. We test our stability criterion using hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy mergers and obtain satisfactory results. We find that our criterion successfully predicts the streams that will be gravitationally unstable to fragmentation into clumps.

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