Head-on collisions and rings of fire
In the next few chapters, we will begin to look in some detail at what happens in specific kinds of galaxy collisions. Galaxy collisions begin as elegant waltzes on the vast space and time scales of the galaxy world. They end more like mantis mating or corporate competitions, with the greater consuming or merging with the lesser. The literature in this field has always been somewhat colorful. In the 1970s, the process was commonly referred to as galactic cannibalism! We will delay consideration of the end games until Chapter 5. Color images of disturbed galaxies with knots of bright young star clusters suggest a calmer comparison with fine jewelry. This chapter is about how that beautiful jewelry is made relatively quickly on the galaxy collision forge.
KeywordsStar Formation Hubble Space Telescope Galaxy Disk Ring Wave Outer Disk
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- Appleton, P.N., and Struck-Marcell, C, “Collisional Ring Galaxies,” Fundamen- tals of Cosmic Physics, Vol. 16, p. Ill, 1996Google Scholar