Dynamics of triaxial stellar systems

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Title: Dynamics of triaxial stellar systems
Author: Merritt, David
Abstract: Recent work on the dynamics of triaxial stellar systems is reviewed. The motion of boxlike orbits in realistic triaxial potentials is generically stochastic. The degree to which the stochasticity manifests itself in the dynamics depends on the chaotic mixing timescale, which is a small multiple of the crossing time in triaxial models with steep cusps or massive central singularities. Low-luminosity ellipticals, which have the steepest cusps and the shortest dynamical times, are less likely than bright ellipticals to have strongly triaxial shapes. The observational evidence for triaxiality is reviewed; departures from axisymmetry in earlytype galaxies are often found to be associated with evidence of recent interactions or with the presence of a bar.
Description: "The Nature of Elliptical Galaxies," Proceedings of the Second Stromlo Symposium. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series. Held at the Australian Academy of Science: Canberra, Australia: 26-30 August 1996Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/9611082 v1 11 Nov 1996 AND Rutgers Astrophysics Preprint Series No. 204
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/1367
Date: 1997-01

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