We present new interferometric H I and CO (J = 1→0) observations of the luminous infrared source, Arp 256. Arp 256 consists of two spiral galaxies in an early stage of merging, with a projected nuclear separation of 29 kpc (54″) and an infrared luminosity of 2.0 × 1011 L ⊙. Despite the large separation of the galaxies' nuclei and mildly disrupted stellar components, the H I disks are found to be strongly disrupted, and the southern galaxy in Arp 256 shows an elevated star formation efficiency, which is consistent with a nuclear starburst. Both of these results run contrary to expectations, posing interesting questions about the physical mechanisms involved in stimulating star formation during an interaction.
- Galaxies: individual (Arp 256)
- Galaxies: interactions
- Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
- Galaxies: starburst
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science