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Paper: Tidal Tales of Minor Mergers: Star Formation in the Tidal Debris of Minor Mergers
Volume: 423, Galaxy Wars: Star Formation and Stellar Populations in Interacting Galaxies
Page: 342
Authors: Knierman, K. A.
Abstract: How does the tidal debris of minor galaxy mergers contribute to structures in spiral galaxies or in the intergalactic medium? While major mergers are known to create structures such as tidal dwarf galaxies and star clusters within their tidal debris, less is known about minor mergers (mass ratios between a dwarf galaxy and disk galaxy of less than one-third) and their tidal debris. This work surveys 6 nearby minor mergers using optical broad-band and Hα narrow-band imaging to characterize star formation in their tidal debris. Young star clusters with ages less than the dynamical age of the tidal tails are found in all 6 mergers, indicating that the star clusters formed in situ. Even if minor mergers contribute less tidal debris per interaction than major mergers, they are more common and possibly contribute structure to all types of galaxies and to the intergalactic medium throughout the history of the universe.
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