Astrophysical Journal Letters
We study the simulated CO emission from elliptical galaxies formed in the mergers of gas-rich disk galaxies. The cold gas not consumed in the merger-driven starburst quickly resettles into a disk-like configuration. By analyzing a variety of arbitrary merger orbits that produce a range of fast- to slow-rotating remnants, we find that molecular disk formation is a fairly common consequence of gas-rich galaxy mergers. Hence, if a molecular disk is observed in an early-type merger remnant, it is likely the result of a "wet merger" rather than a "dry merger." We compare the physical properties from our simulated disks (e.g., size and mass) and find reasonably good agreement with recent observations. Finally, we discuss the detectability of these disks as an aid to future observations.
Faculty Start Year
“Molecular Disk Properties in Early Type Galaxies” Xu, X., Narayanan, D., Walker, C.K., ApJ 2011 721L, 112