Astrophysics and Space Science

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

Origin of the Cartwheel Galaxy: Disk Instability?

  • Evgeny GrivEmail author


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.


galaxies: kinematics and dynamics galaxies: spiral Cartwheel 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amram, P., Mendes de Oliveira, C., Boulesteix, J. and Balkowski, C.: 1998, A&A 330, 881.Google Scholar
  2. Athanassoula, E. and Bosma, A.: 1985, Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 23, 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Athanassoula, E., Puerari, I. and Bosma, A.: 1997, MNRAS 286, 284.Google Scholar
  4. Athanassoula, E. and Sellwood, J.A.: 1986, MNRAS 221, 213.Google Scholar
  5. Binney, J. and Tremaine, S.: 1987, Galactic Dynamics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  6. Buta, R.: 1999, A&SS 269, 79.Google Scholar
  7. Buta, R., Byrd, G. and Freeman, T.: 2004, AJ 127, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Jong, R.S.: 1996, A&A 118, 557.Google Scholar
  9. Freeman, K.C.: 1970, ApJ 160, 811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freudenreich, H.T.: 1998, ApJ 492, 495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gerber, R.A., Lamb, S.A. and Balsara, D.S.: 1996, MNRAS 278, 345.Google Scholar
  12. Goldreich, P. and Tremaine, S.: 1979, ApJ 233, 857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldreich, P. and Tremaine, S.: 1980, ApJ 241, 435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Griv, E. and Chiueh, T.: 1998, ApJ 503, 186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Griv, E. and Gedalin, M.: 2004, AJ 128, 1965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Griv, E., Gedalin, M. and Eichler, D.: 2001, ApJ 555, L29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griv, E., Gedalin, M., Eichler, D. and Yuan, C.: 2000, Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 4280.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Griv, E., Gedalin, M. and Yuan, C.: 2002, A&A 383, 338.Google Scholar
  19. Griv, E. and Peter, W.: 1996, ApJ 469, 84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Griv, E., Rosenstein, B., Gedalin, M. and Eichler, D.: 1999, A&A 347, 821.Google Scholar
  21. Hernquist, L. and Weil, M.L.: 1993, MNRAS 261, 804.Google Scholar
  22. Higdon, J.L.: 1996, ApJ 467, 241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hohl, F.: 1972, J. Comput. Phys. 9, 100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Horellou, C. and Combes, F.: 2001, A&SS 276, 1141.Google Scholar
  25. Immeli, A., Samland, M., Gerhard, O. and Westera, P.: 2004, A&A 413, 547.Google Scholar
  26. Iodice, E., Arnaboldi, M., De Lucia, G., Gallagher, J.S. III, Sparke, L.S. and Freeman, K.C.: 2002, AJ 123, 195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lau, Y.Y. and Bertin, G.: 1978, ApJ 226, 508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lin, C.C. and Lau, Y.Y.: 1979, SIAM Stud. Appl. Math. 60, 97.Google Scholar
  29. Lin, C.C. and Shu, F.H.: 1964, ApJ 140, 646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lin, C.C. and Shu, F.H.: 1966, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 55, 229.Google Scholar
  31. Lin, C.C., Yuan, C. and Shu, F.H.: 1969, ApJ 155, 721 (erratum 156, 797).Google Scholar
  32. Lynden-Bell, D. and Kalnajs, A.J.: 1972, MNRAS 157, 1.Google Scholar
  33. Lynds, R. and Toomre, A.: 1976, ApJ 209, 382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marcum, P.M., Appleton, P.N. and Higdon, J.L.: 1992, ApJ 399, 57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Meijerink, R., Tilanus, R.P.J., Dullemond, C.P., Israel, F.P. and van der Werf, P.P.: 2005, A&A 430, 427.Google Scholar
  36. Meyer-Vernet, N. and Sicardy, B.: 1987, Icarus 69, 157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Miller, R.H., Prendergast, K.H. and Quirk, W.J.: 1970, Astrophys. J. 161, 903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morozov, A.G.: 1980, Sov. Astron. 24, 391.Google Scholar
  39. Morozov, A.G.: 1981, Sov. Astron. 25, 421.Google Scholar
  40. Mayya, Y.D., Bizyaev, D., Romano, R., Garcia-Barreto, J.A. and Vorobyov, E.I.: 2005, ApJ 620, L35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Patsis, P.A., Skokos, Ch. and Athanassoula, E.: 2003, MNRAS 346, 1031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Porcel, C., Garzon, F., Jimenez-Vicente, J. and Battaner, E.: 1998, A&A 330, 136.Google Scholar
  43. Quirk, W.J.: 1972, in Gravitational N-Body Problem, in: M. Lecar (ed.), Reidel, Dordrecht, p. 250.Google Scholar
  44. Reshetnikov, V., Bournaud, F., Combes, F., et al.: 2005, A&A 431, 503.Google Scholar
  45. Safronov, V.S.: 1960, Ann. d'Astrophys. 23, 979.Google Scholar
  46. Safronov, V.S.: 1980, in: D. Lal (ed.) Early Solar System Processes, North-Holland, Amsterdam, p. 73.Google Scholar
  47. Sellwood, J.A. and Athanassoula, E.: 1986, MNRAS 221, 195.Google Scholar
  48. Sellwood, J.A. and Carlberg, R.G.: 1984, ApJ 282, 61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shu, F.H.: 1970, ApJ 160, 99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shu, F.H.: 1984, in R. Greenberg and A. Brahic (eds.), Planetary Rings, University of Arizona, Tucson, p. 513.Google Scholar
  51. Struck, C., Appleton, P.N., Borne, K.D. and Lucas, R.A.: 1996, AJ 112, 1868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tomley, L., Cassen, P. and Steiman-Cameron, T.: 1991, ApJ 382, 530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Toomre, A.: 1964, ApJ 139, 1217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Toomre, A.: 1977, Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 15, 437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Toomre, A.: 1990, in: R. Wielen (ed.), Dynamics and Interactions of Galaxies, Springer, Berlin, p. 292.Google Scholar
  56. Toomre, A. and Kalnajs, A.J.: 1991, in: B. Sundelius (ed.), Dynamics of Disc Galaxies, (Göteborg University Press), Göteborg, p. 341.Google Scholar
  57. Thompson, L.A.: 1977, ApJ 211, 684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tsuchiya, T., Korchagin, V. and Wada, K.: 1998, ApJ 505, 607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. van Driel, W., Combes, F., Arnaboldi, M. and Sparke, L.S.: 2002, A&A 386, 140.Google Scholar
  60. Vandervoort, P.O.: 1970, ApJ 161, 87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vorobyov, E.I. and Bizyaev, D.: 2002, A&A 400, 81.Google Scholar
  62. Wevers, B.M.H.R., van der Kruit, P.C. and Allen, R.J.: 1986, A&AS 66, 505.Google Scholar
  63. Wolter, A. and Trinchieri, G.: 2004, A&A 426, 787.Google Scholar
  64. Yakovleva, V.A. and Karataeva, G.M.: 2004, Astron. Lett. 30, 519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations