Second-generation galaxies in merging clusters?
We consider gas-dynamics phenomena in merging clusters of galaxies. According to X-ray observations, merger shocks involve considerable baryonic masses and compress them into large-scale gaseous layers. The internal structure of the layers includes vorticity and magnetic fields generated in the process of the layer formation and evolution. The layers are unstable against fragmentation via thermal instability. The fragments can have baryonic masses, angular momenta and magnetic fields which are typical for galaxies such as the Milky Way. The gravitational condensation of the fragments may lead to the origin of second-generation spiral galaxies in merging clusters. They may differ from the first-generation spirals because they have a higher rate of star formation, a higher luminosity and a bluer colour. Their metallicity must be considerably enhanced which seems to be their major selective feature.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-10-01