Galaxies, like plants, show a large variety of grafts: an individual of some type connects physically with a neighborhood of same or different type. The effects of these interactions between galaxies have a broad range of morphologies depending, among other quantities, on the distance of the closest approach between systems and the relative size of the two galaxies. A sketch of the possible situations is shown in tabular form. This botanical classification is just indicative, because the effects of interactions can be notable also at relatively large separations, when additional conditions are met, as for example low density of the interacting systems or the presence of intra-cluster gas. In spite of the large variety of encounters and effects, in the literature the same terms are often used to refer to different types of interactions. Analysis indicates that only few of the situations show evident signs of interaction. They appear to be most relevant when the size of the two galaxies is comparable. Bridges and tails, like the well known case of NGC 4038/39, the Antennae, are only observed for a very low percentage of all galaxies (approx. 0.38 percent, Arp and Madore 1977). In most cases of gravitational bond between two galaxies, the effects of interactions are not relevant or evident. For instance, the detection of stellar shells (Malin and Carter 1983), which have been attributed to the accretion of gas stripped from another galaxy or to the capture and disruption of a small stellar system (Quinn 1984), requires particular observing and reduction techniques. Besides these difficulties of detection, time plays an important role in erasing, within a massive galaxy, the effects of interactions with smaller objects. This can happen on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, so the number of systems now showing signs of interaction suggests lower limits to the true frequency of interactions in the life-time of a stellar system.

Hidden interaction in SBO galaxies

GALLETTA, GIUSEPPE;BETTONI, DANIELA;
1990

Abstract

Galaxies, like plants, show a large variety of grafts: an individual of some type connects physically with a neighborhood of same or different type. The effects of these interactions between galaxies have a broad range of morphologies depending, among other quantities, on the distance of the closest approach between systems and the relative size of the two galaxies. A sketch of the possible situations is shown in tabular form. This botanical classification is just indicative, because the effects of interactions can be notable also at relatively large separations, when additional conditions are met, as for example low density of the interacting systems or the presence of intra-cluster gas. In spite of the large variety of encounters and effects, in the literature the same terms are often used to refer to different types of interactions. Analysis indicates that only few of the situations show evident signs of interaction. They appear to be most relevant when the size of the two galaxies is comparable. Bridges and tails, like the well known case of NGC 4038/39, the Antennae, are only observed for a very low percentage of all galaxies (approx. 0.38 percent, Arp and Madore 1977). In most cases of gravitational bond between two galaxies, the effects of interactions are not relevant or evident. For instance, the detection of stellar shells (Malin and Carter 1983), which have been attributed to the accretion of gas stripped from another galaxy or to the capture and disruption of a small stellar system (Quinn 1984), requires particular observing and reduction techniques. Besides these difficulties of detection, time plays an important role in erasing, within a massive galaxy, the effects of interactions with smaller objects. This can happen on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, so the number of systems now showing signs of interaction suggests lower limits to the true frequency of interactions in the life-time of a stellar system.
NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Paired and Interacting Galaxies: International Astronomical Union Colloquium 124
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2453758
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