Publications by Myriam Arnal Rodrigues

Most pseudo-bulges can be formed at later stages of major mergers

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 473 (2018) 2521-2541

M Puech, YB Yang, H Flores, M Rodrigues, F Hammer, T Sauvaget

Most giant spiral galaxies have pseudo or disc-like bulges that are considered to be the result of purely secular processes. This may challenge the hierarchical scenario predicting about one major merger per massive galaxy (>3 × 1010 M⊙) since the last ∼9 billion years. Here, we verify whether or not the association between pseudo-bulges and secular processes is irrevocable. Using GADGET2N-body/SPH simulations, we have conducted a systematic study of remnants of major mergers for which progenitors have been selected (1) to follow the gas richness-look back time relationship, and (2) with a representative distribution of orbits and spins in a cosmological frame. Analysing the surface mass density profile of both nearby galaxies and merger remnants with two components, we find that most of them show pseudo-bulges or bar dominated centres. Even if some orbits lead to classical bulges just after the fusion, the contamination by the additional gas that gradually accumulates to the centre and forming stars later on, leads to remnants apparently dominated by pseudo-bulges. We also found that simple smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations should be sufficient to form realistic spiral galaxies as remnants of ancient gas-rich mergers without the need for specifically tuned feedback conditions. We then conclude that pseudo-bulges and bars in spiral galaxies are natural consequences of major mergers when they are realized in a cosmological context, i.e. with gas-rich progenitors as expected when selected in the distant Universe.

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