The Baryon Cycle in Dwarf-Dwarf Mergers: Fueling Hierarchical Assembly

Sabrina Stierwalt
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
4:00 pm
NS2 1201

Both cosmological simulations and observations of the ultraviolet luminosity function suggest dwarf galaxies are the dominant population at high redshifts and that the galaxy merger rate per unit volume is dominated by low mass galaxies. However, dwarf-dwarf interactions have not yet been subject to systematic study, even in the nearby universe. I will report on our efforts to do just that: TiNy Titans is the first systematic study of a sample of isolated interacting dwarf galaxies and the mechanisms governing their star formation. How much of what we know about massive galaxy mergers - triggering of starbursts, significant rearranging of gas & dust, AGN growth - occur in the shallower gravitational potential wells of dwarf galaxies? Do we observe these low mass mergers at the rate predicted by cosmological simulations? Do dwarf galaxies host their own satellites? I will also highlight our most recent results investigating the age and mass distributions of the star cluster populations in dwarf mergers as observed with high resolution Hubble imaging.

Paul Robertson