Journal Article

Applying the analytic theory of colliding ring galaxies

Curtis Struck

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 403, issue 3, pages 1516-1530
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16224.x
Applying the analytic theory of colliding ring galaxies

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An analytic theory of the waves in colliding ring galaxies was presented some years ago, but the observations were not of sufficient quality then to make quantitative comparisons. Well-resolved observations of a few systems are now available to make such comparisons, and structure imaged in several dozen systems, derived from the recent compilation of Madore, Nelson and Petrillo and the Galaxy Zoo project, can further constrain the theory. Systems with two rings are especially useful for deriving such constraints. After examining the implications of recent observations of ring sizes and structure, I extend the analytic theory, investigate limiting cases and present several levels of approximation. The theory is especially simple in the case of nearly flat rotation curves. I present observational comparisons for a few systems, including Arp 10, the Cartwheel and AM 2136−492. The fit is quite good over a large range of cases. For the Cartwheel there are discrepancies, but the areas of disagreement are suggestive of additional factors, such as multiple collisions. A specific prediction of the theory in the case of nearly flat rotation curves is that the ratio of the outward velocities of successive rings approximately equals the ratio of ring sizes. Ring velocities are also shown to scale simply with local circular velocities in this limit.

Keywords: galaxies: individual: Arp 10; galaxies: individual: The Cartwheel; galaxies: individual: AM 2136−492; galaxies: individual: M31; galaxies: interactions

Journal Article.  14313 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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