A Galaxy Merging Sequence Traced by X-rays

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

We are studying a sample of nearly 20 nearby (cz⪉13,000 km s-1) IR-luminous interacting/merging galaxies observed with the ACIS in the Chandra archive (e.g., Gao et al. 2003; Ptak et al. 2003). Most galaxies in the sample are luminous infrared galaxies (LIGs) and nearly half of them are ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIGs) with bolometric luminosities comparable to QSOs. Based on multiwavelength data and numerical simulations of gas-rich galaxy mergers, we have attempted to arrange them in a merger sequence perspective and compared their broad-band X-ray emission here with the optical images (mostly DSS).

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