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Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 299, Issue 4, pp 371–385 | Cite as

Origin of the Cartwheel Galaxy: Disk Instability?

  • Evgeny Griv
Article

Abstract

The linear theory and N-body simulations are used to present a new, alternative model of the galaxy A0035-324 (the “Cartwheel”), which is the most striking example of the relatively small class of ring galaxies. The model is based on the gravitational Jeans-type instability of both axisymmetric (radial) and nonaxisymmetric (spiral) small-amplitude gravity perturbations (e.g., those produced by spontaneous disturbances) of a dynamically cold subsystem (identified as the gaseous component) of an isolated disk galaxy. The simplified model of a galaxy is used in which stars (and a dark matter, if it exists at all) do not participate in the disk collective oscillations and just form a background charge. In the theory presented here, a case for both purely radial solutions and purely spiral solutions to the equations of motion of an infinitesimally thin gaseous disk is made, which is associated with both a radial density wave and a dominant spiral density wave which propagate outwards creating a rough ring and a number of spiral arms. Through three-dimensional numerical simulation of a collisionless set of many particles, I associate these gravitationally unstable axisymmetric waves and nonaxisymmetric waves with growing clumps of matter which take on the appearance of a ring and spokes of mass blobs.

Keywords

galaxies: kinematics and dynamics galaxies: spiral Cartwheel 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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