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Session 124 - Elliptical Galaxies.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10
Counter rotating cores have been observed in a number of elliptical galaxies. A suggested method of formation is one in which dynamical friction causes a compact companion to spiral into the center of a much larger elliptical galaxy on a retrograde orbit relative to the larger galaxy's rotation. If the core of the smaller galaxy is not tidally disrupted it may carry some of its orbital angular momentum to the center. We present initial results from N-body simulations of counter rotating core formation by satellite accretion. The results allow us to place constraints on conditions leading to satellite disruption. For the cases resulting in counter rotating cores, we analyze the stellar line-of-sight velocity distributions using the penalized likelihood method of Merritt(1997). We propose observational tests to distinguish counter rotating cores formed by this process.
Merrit, D. 1997, AJ, 114, 228
Program listing for Saturday