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Abstract: We present the GalMer database, a library of galaxy merger simulations, madeavailable to users through tools compatible with the Virtual Observatory VOstandards adapted specially for this theoretical database. To investigate thephysics of galaxy formation through hierarchical merging, it is necessary tosimulate galaxy interactions varying a large number of parameters:morphological types, mass ratios, orbital configurations, etc. On one side,these simulations have to be run in a cosmological context, able to provide alarge number of galaxy pairs, with boundary conditions given by the large-scalesimulations, on the other side the resolution has to be high enough at galaxyscales, to provide realistic physics. The GalMer database is a library ofthousands simulations of galaxy mergers at moderate spatial resolution and itis a compromise between the diversity of initial conditions and the details ofunderlying physics. We provide all coordinates and data of simulated particlesin FITS binary tables. The main advantages of the database are VO accessinterfaces and value-added services which allow users to compare the results ofthe simulations directly to observations: stellar population modelling, dustextinction, spectra, images, visualisation using dedicated VO tools. The GalMervalue-added services can be used as virtual telescope producing broadbandimages, 1D spectra, 3D spectral datacubes, thus making our database orientedtowards the usage by observers. We present several examples of the GalMerdatabase scientific usage obtained from the analysis of simulations andmodelling their stellar population properties, including: 1 studies of thestar formation efficiency in interactions; 2 creation of old counter-rotatingcomponents; 3 reshaping metallicity profiles in elliptical galaxies; 4orbital to internal angular momentum transfer; 5 reproducing observed colourbimodality of galaxies.

Author: Igor Chilingarian, Paola Di Matteo, Francoise Combes, Anne-Laure Melchior, Benoit Semelin


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