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UCDs as Probes of the Major and Minor Merger Histories of Galaxies

  • M. Koleva, Ph. Prugniel, I. Vauglin, M.A. Norris (a1) and S.J. Kannappan (a1)...

Abstract

Two competing theories posit that Ultra Compact Dwarfs (UCDs) form either as the stripped nuclei of dwarf galaxies or as giant globular clusters (GGCs) associated with the largest globular cluster (GC) systems. By focussing on the field and group environments where young UCDs may be most common, we have discovered the first UCD that is clearly the result of recent (< 4Gyr ago) stripping of a companion galaxy during a minor galaxy merger. However, we have also found a definitive case of a multiple-UCD system created via GC formation processes, which are likely associated with major galaxy mergers.

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References

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[1]1Hau, G.K.T., et al., 2009, MNRAS, 394, L97
[2]2Hilker, M., 2009 [ArXiv e-prints: 0906.0776]
[3]3Norris, M.A., & Kannappan, S.J., in preparation
[4]4Taylor, Matthew, A., et al., 2010, ApJ, 712, 1191

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