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Physics  1999 

Nuclear Brightness Profiles of Merger Remnants: Constraints on the Formation of Ellipticals by Mergers

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We present preliminary results of an HST/NICMOS program to image merger remnants in the J, H and K bands. The nuclear brightness profiles for most sample galaxies are similar to those typical for elliptical galaxies, but some (including the well-studied NGC 3921 and 7252) have an unusually high luminosity density at small radii. This is consistent with the prediction of N-body simulations that gas flows to the center during a merger and forms new stars.


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