Ultraluminous infrared mergers: elliptical galaxies in formation?
GENZEL R., TACCONI L.J., RIGOPOULOU D., LUTZ D. and TECZA M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report high-quality near-IR spectroscopy of 12 ultraluminous infrared galaxy mergers (ULIRGs). Our new VLT and Keck data provide ∼0".5 resolution, stellar and gas kinematics of these galaxies, most of which are compact systems in the last merger stages. We confirm that ULIRG mergers are ``ellipticals in formation.'' Random motions dominate their stellar dynamics, but significant rotation is common. Gasdynamics and stellar dynamics are decoupled in most systems. ULIRGs fall on or near the fundamental plane of hot stellar systems, and especially on its less evolution-sensitive, reff-σ projection. The ULIRG velocity dispersion distribution, their location in the fundamental plane, and their distribution of vrotsini/σ closely resemble those of intermediate-mass (~L*), elliptical galaxies with moderate rotation. As a group ULIRGs do not resemble giant ellipticals with large cores and little rotation. Our results are in good agreement with other recent studies indicating that disky ellipticals with compact cores or cusps can form through dissipative mergers of gas-rich disk galaxies while giant ellipticals with large cores have a different formation history.
Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Formation - Galaxies: Kinematics and Dynamics - Infrared: Galaxies
table 1 : IRAS 00456-2901 misprint for 00456-2904