Warped galaxies from misaligned angular momenta

Debattista, Victor P orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7902-0116 and Sellwood, J A (1999) Warped galaxies from misaligned angular momenta. The Astrophysical Journal, 513 . L107-L110. ISSN 0004-637X

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A galaxy disk embedded in a rotating halo experiences a dynamical friction force which causes it to warp when the angular momentum axes of the disk and halo are misaligned. Our fully self-consistent simulations of this process induce long-lived warps in the disk that mimic Briggs’s rules of warp behavior. They also demonstrate that random motion within the disk adds significantly to its stiffness. Moreover, warps generated in this way have no winding problem and are more pronounced in the extended H i disk. As emphasized by Binney and his coworkers, angular momentum misalignments, which are expected in hierarchical models of galaxy formation, can account for the high fraction of warped galaxies. Our simulations exemplify the role of misaligned spins in warp formation even when the halo density is not significantly flattened.

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