Starburst Galaxies

Many of the most luminous starburst galaxies are interacting and merging systems.

Why? How do interactions drive starbursts?

A three step process:

1. Collisions drive spiral arms and bar instabilities in disk galaxies.

2. The nonaxisymmetric potential drives gas into nuclear regions.

3. High central gas densities trigger strong starburst activity.

Previous: Dynamics of Colliding Galaxies
Next: Making Ellipticals