Could M31 be the result of a major merger?
1 Laboratoire GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS-UMR8111, Univ. Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
2 NAOC, Chinese Academy of Sciences, A20 Datun Road, 100012 Beijing, China
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We investigated a scenario in which M31 could be the remnant of a gas-rich major merger. Galaxy merger simulations, highly constrained by observations, were run using GADGET 2 in order to reproduce M31. We succeeded in reproducing the global shape of M31, the thin disk and the bulge, and in addition some of the main M31 large-scale features, such as the thick disk, the 10 kpc ring and the Giant Stream. This lead to a new explanation of the Giant Stream which could be caused by tidal tail stars that have been captured by the galaxy potential.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012