On the Clustering Tendencies among the Nebulae. II. a Study of Encounters Between Laboratory Models of Stellar Systems by a New Integration Procedure.
In a previous paper' the writer discussed the possibility of explaining the observed clustering effects among extragalactic nebulae as a result of captures. The present investigation deals with the important problem of whether the loss of energy resulting from the tidal disturbances at a close encounter between two nebulae is large enough to effect a capture. The tidal deformations of two models of stellar systems, passing each other at a small distance, are studied by reconstructing, piece by piece, the orbits described by the individual mass elements. The difficulty of integrating the total gravitational force acting upon a certain element at a certain point of time is solved by replacing gravitation by light. The mass elements are represented by light-bulbs, the candle power being proportional to mass, and the total light is meas- ured by a photocefl (Fig. i). The nebulae are assumed to have a flattened shape, and each is represented by 37 light-bulbs. It is found that the tidal deformations cause an increase in the attraction between the two objects, the increase reaching its maximum value when the nebulae are separating, i.e., after the passage. The resulting loss of energy (Fig. 6) is comparatively large and may, in favorable cases, effect a capture. The spiral arms developing during the encounter (Figs. 4) represent an interesting by-product of the investigation. The direction of the arms depends on the direction of rotation of the nebulae with respect to the direction of their space motions