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The existence of grand design spiral galaxies in the universe is still a standing problem. The passage of a small companion is known to be able to induce spiral structures in disc galaxies, but there remains questions over how relevant this mechanism is to the galaxies observed in the real universe. Our study aims to address two key points regarding such interactions; the limiting mass companion needed to drive tidal spiral structures, and the differences between the resulting gas and stellar morphology. We find the minimum mass of a companion to be as low as 5% of the stellar mass of the galaxy, and that the arms formed in the gas and the stars display very minor dynamical and morphological differences.
Recent studies have shown that for suitable initial conditions both super- and sub-Chandrasekhar mass carbon-oxygen white dwarf mergers produce explosions similar to observed SNe Ia. The question remains, however, how much fine tuning is necessary to produce these conditions. We performed a large set of SPH merger simulations, sweeping the possible parameter space. We find trends for merger remnant properties, and discuss how our results affect the viability of our recently proposed sub-Chandrasekhar merger channel for SNe Ia.
We use images derived from collapsing, turbulent molecular cloud simulations without sinks to explore the effects of finite image angular resolution and noise on the derived clump mass function. These effects randomly perturb the clump masses, producing a lognormal clump mass function with a Salpeter-like high mass end. We show that the characteristic break mass of the simulated clump mass functions changes with the angular resolution of the images in a way that is entirely consistent with the observations. We also present some cautionary tales regarding sink particles and highlight the need to ensure that sinks actually correspond to distinct collapsing objects. We test several popular numerical sink criteria in the literature and compare to converged, non-sink results.
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