AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 84. Elliptical Galaxies and Galaxy Dynamics
Oral, Friday, January 8, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 9 (A and B)

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[84.03D] Central Singularities and the Persistence of the Core Fundamental Plane

J. K. Holley-Bockelmann, D. O. Richstone (University of Michigan)

In order for the core Fundamental Plane (cFP) to endure, small ellipticals must not survive mergers with giant ellipticals, despite the fact the small secondary galaxy can be as much as a million times more dense than the primary. However, we present extensive simulations which demonstrate that, for purely stellar galaxies, the secondary does in fact survive mergers with primaries up to 100 times more massive. We present experiments which indicate, though, that the addition of a massive central singularity inside the primary galaxy provides strong enough tidal forces to destroy dense cFP companions when the secondary's orbital decay is sufficiently elongated. The secondary's destruction acts to preserve the original low central density profile of the primary in the giant merger remnant. In this way, massive central black holes can be considered to 'protect' the cFP during mergers. With the increasing evidence that black holes may be omnipresent in elliptical galaxy centers, we also investigate the effect that a massive central black hole in the secondary has on the structure and energy evolution of cFP merger remnants.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/kelly/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kelly@astro.lsa.umich.edu

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