Creating S0s with major mergers: a 3D view

Miguel Querejeta, M. Carmen Eliche-Moral, Trinidad Tapia, Alejandro Borlaff, Glenn van de Ven, Mariya Lyubenova, Marie Martig, Jesús Falcón-Barroso, Jairo Mendez-Abreu, Jaime Zamorano, Jesús Gallego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


A number of simulators have argued that major mergers can sometimes preserve discs, but the possibility that they could explain the emergence of lenticular galaxies (S0s) has been generally neglected. In fact, observations of S0s reveal a strong structural coupling between their bulges and discs, which seems difficult to reconcile with the idea that they come from major mergers. However, in our recent papers we have used N-body simulations of binary mergers to show that, under favourable conditions, discs are first destroyed but soon regrow out of the leftover debris, matching observational photometric scaling relations. Additionally, we have shown how the merger scenario agrees with the recent discovery that S0s and most spirals are not compatible in an angular momentum-concentration plane. This important result from CALIFA constitutes a serious objection to the idea that spirals transform into S0s mainly by fading (e.g., via ram-pressure stripping, as that would not explain the observed simultaneous change in λ Re and concentration), but our simulations of major mergers do explain that mismatch. From such a 3D comparison we conclude that mergers must be a relevant process in the build-up of the current population of S0s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2015


  • Galaxies: lenticular
  • Kinematics and dynamics
  • Structure
  • Evolution
  • Interactions


Dive into the research topics of 'Creating S0s with major mergers: a 3D view'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this