Head-on collisions and rings of fire

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


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.


Star Formation Hubble Space Telescope Galaxy Disk Ring Wave Outer Disk 
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Further Reading

  1. Appleton, P.N., and Struck-Marcell, C, “Collisional Ring Galaxies,” Fundamen- tals of Cosmic Physics, Vol. 16, p. Ill, 1996Google Scholar
  2. Lynds, R., and Toomre, A. “On the Interpretation of Ring Galaxies: the Binary Ring System II Hz 4,” Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 209, p. 382, 1976CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Madore, B.F., Nelson, E., and Petrillo, K. “Atlas and Catalog of Collisional Ring Galaxies,” Astrophysical Journal Supplement, Vol. 181, p. 572, 2009CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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