AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 6. Interactions, Mergers and Starbursts
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[6.02] Luminosity Profiles of Evolved Merger Remnants

J. E. Hibbard, M. S. Yun (NRAO)

Using published luminosity and molecular gas profiles of the merger remnants NGC 3921, NGC 7252 and Arp 220, we investigate the expected luminosity profiles of the resulting evolved merger remnants, especially in light of the massive CO complexes that are observed in their nuclei. For NGC 3921 and NGC 7252 we find that even under the most optimistic estimates the resulting luminosity profile should still be characterized by an r1/4 law. Due to a much higher central molecular column density, Arp 220 might not evolve such a ``seamless'' light profile. We conclude that ultraluminous infrared mergers such as Arp 220 either evolve into ellipticals with luminosity spikes, or do not produce many low-mass stars out of their molecular gas complexes.

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