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Mergers and the Formation of Massive Ellipticals

  • Ralf Bender
Conference paper
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUS, volume 171)

Abstract

Many nearby luminous elliptical galaxies exhibit counter-rotating cores, minor axis rotation or peculiar velocity fields. These phenomena require that merging and accretion events played a major role in the formation of ellipticals and, equally important, that stars dominated significantly over gas in the merger progenitors. Low redshift analogues to the last stages in the formation of massive ellipticals can be observed in ultraluminous IRAS mergers. However, this does not imply that ellipticals generally formed in spiral-spiral mergers. Mergers can also occur as a consequence of inhomogenous collapse or hierarchical bottom-up structure formation and it is actually more likely that the progenitors of present-day ellipticals did not resemble present-day spirals.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Bender
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitäts-SternwarteMünchenGermany

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