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Gravitational Fragmentation in Galaxy Mergers: A Stability Criteria

Abstract

We study the gravitational stability of gaseous streams in the complex environment of a galaxy merger, because mergers are known to be places of ongoing massive cluster formation and bursts of star formation. We find an analytic stability parameter for case of gaseous streams orbiting around the merger remnant. We test our stability criteria using hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy mergers, obtaining satisfactory results. We find that our criteria successfully predicts the streams that will be gravitationally unstable to fragment into clumps.Comment: 10 pages, 2 figures. After 2nd referee repor

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