Gas and star formation in minor mergers - Molecular gas feeding the central starbursts in NGC1614 and the Medusa merger
Astronomy and astrophysics
Friday 20 November 2015
to 11:30 at
Sabine Koenig (Onsala Space Observatory)
The focus on merger studies often lies on major mergers and their evolution although minor mergers likely constitute the bulk of interactions. Studying molecular gas properties in merging galaxies gives us important clues to the onset and evolution of interaction-triggered starbursts. Understanding how gas is feeding starburst and AGN activities in these objects, in particular, is paramount to understand the overall evolution of the Universe. Two very prominent representatives of minor merger systems with active star formation are NGC 1614 and the Medusa merger. Both minor mergers harbor dust lanes as prominent features of their optical morphologies. Large amounts of molecular gas are associated with the respective dust lanes but not with the bulk of the star formation in these two minor mergers. The dust lanes seem to be part of a feeding chain where the bulk of the molecular gas has yet not engaged in star formation. In this talk I will present an overview of the molecular gas properties of NGC 1614 and the Medusa. I will also show the first results of very recent ALMA and NOEMA observations for the two minor mergers.