We use cosmological smooth particle hydrodynamical (SPH) simulations to study the effects of mergers in the star formation history of galactic objects in hierarchical clustering scenarios. We find that during some merger events, gaseous discs can experience two starbursts: the first one during the orbital decay phase, owing to gas inflows driven as the satellite approaches, and the second one when the two baryonic clumps collide. A trend for these first induced starbursts to be more efficient at transforming the gas into stars is also found. We detect that systems that do not experience early gas inflows have well-formed stellar bulges and more concentrated potential wells, which seem to be responsible for preventing further gas inward transport triggered by tidal forces. The potential wells concentrate owing to the accumulation of baryons in the central regions and of dark matter as the result of the pulling in by baryons. The coupled evolution of the dark matter and baryons would lead to an evolutionary sequence during which systems with shallower total potential wells suffer early gas inflows during the orbital decay phase that help to feed their central mass concentration, pulling in dark matter and contributing to build up more stable systems. Within this scenario, starbursts triggered by early gas inflows are more likely to occur at early stages of evolution of the systems and to be an important contributor to the formation of stellar bulges. Our results constitute the first proof that bulges can form as the product of collapse, collisions and secular evolution in a cosmological framework, and they are consistent with a rejuvenation of the stellar population in bulges at intermediate z with, at least, 50 per cent of the stars (in SCDM) being formed at high z.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Astronomía y astrofísica
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial