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Session 83 - Galaxy Evolution/Interaction.
Oral session, Wednesday, January 15
I shall discuss recent work on the Hubble Deep Field. We have measured the two-point angular correlation function of sources detected in the field. We find a correlation peaked between 0.25 and 0.4 arcseconds with an amplitude of 2 or greater. This angular size corresponds to physical scales of a few kiloparsecs, nearly independent of redshift (beyond z \sim 1). The correlation must therefore derive from objects which are subgalaxian in size. Currently, we are investigating several different dynamical scenarios for these objects. First we consider the hypothesis that these objects are normal galaxies (in the present day sense) whose star-forming regions dominate the light as a result of observational redshift effects, such as K-correction and surface brightness dimming. In this scenario, the sources are not undergoing any processes as dynamically special as merging or explosion; instead, they are part of a larger system which is rotationally supported. Second we consider the possibility that the sources are previously distinct galaxy fragments merging to form L_* galaxies. Finally, we consider the hypothesis that the sources are galaxy fragments slowly accreting into Magellanic irregulars during ongoing formation.
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