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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 735284, 7 pages
Review Article

Tidal Dwarf Galaxies and Missing Baryons

CEA Saclay, DSM/IRFU/SAP, F 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Received 23 June 2009; Accepted 4 August 2009

Academic Editor: Elias Brinks

Copyright © 2010 Frederic Bournaud. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tidal dwarf galaxies form during the interaction, collision, or merger of massive spiral galaxies. They can resemble “normal” dwarf galaxies in terms of mass, size, and become dwarf satellites orbiting around their massive progenitor. They nevertheless keep some signatures from their origin, making them interesting targets for cosmological studies. In particular, they should be free from dark matter from a spheroidal halo. Flat rotation curves and high dynamical masses may then indicate the presence of an unseen component, and constrain the properties of the “missing baryons,” known to exist but not directly observed. The number of dwarf galaxies in the Universe is another cosmological problem for which it is important to ascertain if tidal dwarf galaxies formed frequently at high redshift, when the merger rate was high, and many of them survived until today. In this paper, “dark matter” is used to refer to the nonbaryonic matter, mostly located in large dark halos, that is, CDM in the standard paradigm, and “missing baryons” or “dark baryons” is used to refer to the baryons known to exist but hardly observed at redshift zero, and are a baryonic dark component that is additional to “dark matter”.