Galaxy Disk Heating as a Result of Minor Mergers

Tapia, M. T.; Balcells, M.; Eliche-Moral, M. C.
Bibliographical reference

HUNTING FOR THE DARK: THE HIDDEN SIDE OF GALAXY FORMATION. Edited by Victor P. Debattista and Cristina C. Popescu AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1240, pp. 423-424 (2010).

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We perform N-body simulations of a minor merger between a Milky Way like galaxy and a disk-like satellite. In this set of collisionless runs we vary critical parameters such as the luminous mass ratio between the two galaxies (1:6, 1:9), the type of orbit (direct or retrograde) and the number of particles (185,000, 555,000 and 1,850,000). We estimate the growth of the disk thickness due to the accretion of satellites by measuring the median of the vertical distribution of the luminous material. After correcting our values for numerical heating we find that the merger increases the scale height by a factor of ~2 in all the remnants. The global response of the disk to the merger tidal field dominate the thickening.