The Formation of Polar Disk Galaxies Academic Article uri icon

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  • Polar Ring Galaxies, such as NGC4650A, are a class of galaxy which have two kinematically distinct components that are inclined by almost 90 degrees to each other. These striking galaxies challenge our understanding of how galaxies form; the origin of their distinct components has remained uncertain, and the subject of much debate. We use high-resolution cosmological simulations of galaxy formation to show that Polar Ring Galaxies are simply an extreme example of the angular moment misalignment that occurs during the hierarchical structure formation characteristic of Cold Dark Matter cosmology. In our model, Polar Ring Galaxies form through the continuous accretion of gas whose angular momentum is misaligned with the central galaxy.


  • Brook, Chris B
  • Governato, Fabio
  • Quinn, Thomas
  • Wadsley, James
  • Brooks, Alyson M
  • Willman, Beth
  • Stilp, Adrienne
  • Jonsson, Patrik

publication date

  • December 20, 2008