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Paper: M81 and Related Systems: High Impact Collisions with Small Galaxies
Volume: 423, Galaxy Wars: Star Formation and Stellar Populations in Interacting Galaxies
Page: 3
Authors: Gallagher III, J. S.
Abstract: Minor interactions involving close passages or mergers of low mass galaxies with galaxies having ∼10 times or larger mass are relatively common. In this talk I examine such events involving gas-rich galaxies from an observational perspective. The M81 galaxy group provides a nearby and impressive example of the impact of these types of “galaxy skirmishes”. The effects from high mass ratio collisions with spheroidal galaxies with little interstellar matter are mainly limited to mass loss and some dynamical heating. The M81 group shows that gas rich disk systems experience richer and more significant ranges of responses. These may include gas interchanges, excitation of high amplitude spiral arm patterns, or luminous starbursts, any of which can significantly affect the evolution of the involved galaxies. Structures of intruders may be profoundly modified, and observations of such events can yield insights into physical processes operating during the growth of youthful galaxies in gas-rich environments via cold accretion and mergers.
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