Wednesday 24 Apr 2013: Galaxy Interactions in the Nearby Universe (3:30pm)
Dr Nicola Brassington - University of Hertfordshire
Physics, 4th floor 15:30-16:30
It is widely believed that very few galaxies exist today that have not been formed or shaped in some way by an interaction with another galaxy. These interactions play a major role in the evolution of galaxies by triggering star formation and nuclear activity. However the parameters that influence this enhanced activity are poorly understood. The Spitzer Interacting Galaxies Survey (SIGS) is addressing this question by using IR data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope to study a large sample of 104 galaxies in different stages of interaction. In this talk I will provide an summary of the sample and present the results from the photometric analysis. I will also discuss our recent work on HI & CO data which allow us to determine the properties of the ISM of these systems. I will specifically focus on the interacting systems that contain one gas-rich and one gas-poor galaxy; the damp-mergers. Such systems provide us with the opportunity to study how cold gas from the gas-rich galaxy is affected by its companion and thereby, in conjunction with the Spitzer data, provide constraints on the relationship between the ISM and star-formation in interacting systems containing a gas poor system.