Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 294, 657-666 (1995/2-3)
Isophote shapes of merger remnants.
LIMA NETO G.B. and COMBES F.
Abstract (from CDS):
We analyse the end-states of galaxy mergers between 2 and 15 equal mass disk galaxies, as well as a dissipationless collapse, obtained in N-body simulations. The isophote shapes can appear boxy depending on the viewing angle, and the frequency of observed boxiness depends on the initial conditions. We show that a collapsed object presents the highest degree of boxiness. Mergers of 2 galaxies show only a moderate degree of boxiness, depending on the initial relative orientation of the progenitor galaxies. The cannibal galaxies (galaxies formed by a series of mergers) display irregular isophotes and small or no sign of boxiness. Therefore, dissipationless mergers tend to wash out any disky or boxy isophotes instead of creating them. A statistical analysis of the end state distribution of the particles angular momentum indicates that the boxy shapes does not appear to be related to the tumbling or bending instabilities, and are not specific to merger remnants. These results are analysed in regard to a possible scenario of elliptical galaxy formation.