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S. J. Kannappan, D. G. Fabricant (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
We survey the gas and stellar rotation curves of a representative sample of nearby galaxies to search for evidence of interactions and mergers. Our survey consists of ~200 low-redshift galaxies chosen from the CfA1 survey to include all morphological types in approximately their natural abundance down to luminosities as faint as MB=-14. For those galaxies with measurable emission or absorption line rotation curves, we analyze inner disk kinematics as well as irregularities in rotation curve shape. We compare gas and stellar kinematics, identifying cases of distinct gas and stellar rotation, including counterrotation. Finally, we describe how the kinematic evidence for mergers and interactions depends on morphology, luminosity, nuclear activity, and environment. S.J.K. acknowledges the support of a NASA GSRP fellowship during this work.