AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 34. Interacting Galaxies: A Multi-wavelength Look at their Role in Galactic and Cosmic Evolution
Topical Session Oral, Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 8:30am-12:30pm, 2:00-5:30pm, C106

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[34.14] Gas Concentrations in the Disk-disk Overlapping Regions

Y. Gao (IPAC, Caltech)

We show some examples of ongoing gas-rich mergers where large gas concentrations in the disk-disk overlapping regions have been identified. In one case, the gas concentrations are even outside of the merging stellar disks (II~Zw~96). In another case the possible overlapping regions are only found to be in the extended HI gas disks, whereas the optical disks have not overlapped yet (NGC~6670). These overlapping gas concentrations also tend to be the place of active star formation, and sometimes the dominant star-forming site of the entire merging systems. By examining these ``overlap'' mergers along a merger sequence, we try to understand the importance of the ``overlap starburst'' phase during the merging process. We further propose that the overlap gas concentration might be at the center of the gravitational potential of the entire merging systems, which could be eventually tested by the detailed numerical modelling of gas-rich mergers. Numerical simulations so far, however, have not been able to reproduce the gas concentrations in the disk overlap regions in early and intermediate stage mergers.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gao@ipac.caltech.edu

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