MIT ASTROPHYSICS COLLOQUIUM — The Bridges And Tails Of Interacting Dwarf Galaxies: Efficient Baryon Removal And The Formation Of Dwarf Spheroidals

Tuesday October 16, 2012 4:00 pm

Interactions between isolated dwarf galaxies are a largely understudied mode of galaxy evolution that could potentially represent a major channel for the removal of baryons from low mass systems and thereby facilitate the morphological transformation from dwarf Irregular type galaxies to gas-poor dwarf Spheroidals. The ongoing tidal interactions between our nearest pair of dwarf galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, illustrate that such interactions may be an efficient mode of gas loss. In addition, the properties of the Magellanic Bridge connecting them indicate that hydrodynamic forces during a direct collision may enhance the gas removal process, facilitating a morphological transformation and inducing star formation in the Bridge. With the discovery of the gas-deficient tidally disrupted dwarf about the starbursting Magellanic Irregular dwarf galaxy, NGC 4449, it is becoming increasingly apparent that such interactions may be generic, in lines with theoretical expectations of hierarchical structure formation. Such interactions likely represent a generic mode of dwarf galaxy evolution and baryon loss that is independent of proximity to a massive host.

Event Contact

Debbie Meinbresse