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Investigating the Effects Major Mergers on Dwarf Galaxies through FIRE simulations

Presentation #224.05 in the session Evolution of Galaxies IV.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Investigating the Effects Major Mergers on Dwarf Galaxies through FIRE simulations

Dwarf galaxies are low mass (M*<106 M) galaxies that are dominated by dark matter. Dark matter is thought to be a form of invisible matter distributed in galaxies. It is not known what the nature of dark matter might be, but we can study it through its effects on dwarf galaxy kinematics. Therefore, studying dwarf galaxies will help us understand the nature of dark matter. The merging process is a transformative process that can have serious implications on galaxy kinematics and galaxy formation theory. Major mergers (1:10 mass ratio) in dwarf galaxies are rare events that drastically alter the kinematics of a galaxy and so have implications on the study of dark matter and galaxy formation processes. We investigate the effects of the merging process on dwarf galaxies through high resolution cosmological zoom-in FIRE/Gizmo simulations. With this tool we simulate a dwarf galaxy major merger to study the changes in the rotational support, age and metallicity gradients, star formation, and stellar kinematics before, during, and after the major merger. We find interesting tracers of major mergers in dwarf galaxy properties including an uptake in star formation, and a decrease in rotational support during the major merger.

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