The Formation of Galactic Bulges

The Formation of Galactic Bulges

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Bulges lie at the center of spiral galaxies. Until recently, they were thought to host uniquely old stellar populations and thus provide a key for understanding galaxy formation. Recent observations from the ground and space have drastically changed our view on the nature of bulges and shown that they can also contain dust, gas, and star-forming regions. This timely volume presents review articles by a panel of international experts who gathered at a conference at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, to address several fundamental questions: What is a bulge? When and how did bulges form? And, on what timescales? This volume provides a state-of-the-art picture of our new understanding of these fundamental building-blocks of galaxies, and a stimulating reference point for all those interested in galaxy formation.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 83 b/w illus. 5 tables
  • 1139244310
  • 9781139244312

Table of contents

Part I. Introduction: What are galactic bulges?; Part II. The Epoch of Bulge Formation: Origin of bulges; Deep sub-mm surveys: High-z ULIRGs and the formation of spheroids; Ages and metallicities for stars in the galactic bulge; Integrated stellar populations of bulges: First results; HST-NICMOS observations of galactic bulges: Ages and dust; Inside-out bulge formation and the origin of the Hubble sequence; Part III. The Timescales of Bulge Formation: Constraints on the bulge formation timescale from stellar populations; Bulge building with mergers and winds; Role of winds, starbursts, and activity in bulge formation; Dynamical timescales of bulge formation; Part IV. Physical Processes in Bulge Formation: the role of bars for secular bulge formation; Bars and boxy/peanut-shaped bulges: an observational point of view; Boxy- and peanut-shaped bulges; A new class of bulges; The role of secondary bars in bulge formation; Radial transport of molecular gas to the nuclei of spiral galaxies; Dynamical evolution of bulge shapes; Two-component stellar systems: Phase-space constraints; Central NGC 2146 - a firehose-type bending instability?; Bulge formation: the role of the multi-phase ISM; Global evolution of a self-gravitating multi-phase ISM in the central kpc region of galaxies; Part V. Bulge Phenomenology: Bulge-disk decomposition of spiral galaxies in the near-infrared; The triaxial bulge of NGC 1371; The bulge-disk orthogonal decoupling in galaxies: NGC 4698 and NGC 4672; The kinematics and the origin of the ionized gas in NGC 4036; Optically thin thermal plasma in the galactic bulge; X-ray properties of bulges; The host galaxies of radio-loud AGN; The centers of radio-loud early-type galaxies with HST; Central UV spikes in two galactic spheroids; Conference summary: where do we stand?
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Review quote

'... a stimulating reference point for all those interested in galaxy formation.' Europe and Astronomy 'An area of galaxy studies that is both intriguing and exciting. These papers are of high quality. Highly recommended.' Richard Taylor, Spaceflight
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