H I Recycling: Formation of Tidal Dwarf Galaxies
Galactic collisions trigger a number of phenomena, such as transportation inward of gas from distances of up to kiloparsecs from the center of a galaxy to the nuclear region, fueling a central starburst or nuclear activity. The inverse process, the ejection of material into the intergalactic medium by tidal forces, is another important aspect and can be studied especially well through detailed HI observations of interacting systems. These studies have shown that a large fraction of the gaseous component of colliding galaxies can be expelled. Part of this tidal debris might fall back, be dispersed throughout the intergalactic medium or re-condense to form a new generation of galaxies: the so-called tidal dwarf galaxies. The latter are nearby examples of galaxies in formation. The properties of these recycled objects, and different ways to identify them, are reviewed here.