EAS Publications Series
Volume 45, 2010GAIA: At the Frontiers of Astrometry
|Page(s)||389 - 392|
|Published online||15 February 2011|
C. Turon, F. Meynadier and F. Arenou (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 45 (2010) 389-392
Minor mergers and their impact on the kinematics of galaxy discs
GÉPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot,
5 place Jules
2 Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India
By means of N-body simulations, we have investigated the impact of minor mergers on the angular momentum content and kinematical properties of a disc galaxy. Our simulations cover a range of initial orbital characteristics and the system consists of a massive galaxy with a bulge and a stellar disc merging with a much less massive gasless companion. Our results show that: (1) during the process of merging, the disc of the primary galaxy becomes kinematically hotter and thicker; (2) its specific angular momentum always decreases, independent of the orbit or morphology of the satellite galaxy; (3) the decrease in the rotation velocity of the primary galaxy is accompanied by a change in the anisotropy of the stellar orbits, which becomes increasingly radially dominated as the merger advances; (4) the radial velocity dispersion increases at all radii, but in particular in the outermost regions; (5) at the same time, the transverse velocity decreases throughout the whole disc, except in the inner region, where the constribution of bulge stars leads to an increase of σt.
© EAS, EDP Sciences 2011
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