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Title: Systematic search for tidal features around nearby galaxies: I. Enhanced SDSS imaging of the Local Volume

Abstract

In hierarchical models of galaxy formation, stellar tidal streams are expected around most, if not all, galaxies. Although these features may provide useful diagnostics of the Λ CDM model, their observational properties remain poorly constrained because they are challenging to detect and interpret and have been studied in detail for only a sparse sampling of galaxy population. More quantitative, systematic approaches are required. We advocate statistical analysis of the counts and properties of such features in archival wide-field imaging surveys for a direct comparison against results from numerical simulations. We aim to study systematically the frequency of occurrence and other observational properties of tidal features around nearby galaxies. The sample we construct will act as a foundational dataset for statistical comparison with cosmological models of galaxy formation. Our approach is based on a visual classification of diffuse features around a volume-limited sample of nearby galaxies, using a post-processing of Sloan Digital Syk Survey (SDSS) imaging optimized for the detection of stellar structure with low surface brightness. At a limiting surface brightness of 28 mag arcsec –2, 14% of the galaxies in our sample exhibit evidence of diffuse features likely to have arisen from minor merging events. Our technique recovers allmore » previously known streams in our sample and yields a number of new candidates. Consistent with previous studies, coherent arc-like features and shells are the most common type of tidal structures found in this study. Here, we conclude that although some detections are ambiguous and could be corroborated or refuted with deeper imaging, our technique provides a reliable foundation for the statistical analysis of diffuse circumgalactic features in wide-area imaging surveys, and for the identification of targets for follow-up studies.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Zentrum für Astronomie der Univ. Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Durham Univ., Durham (United Kingdom)
  3. Inst. for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), Tehran (Iran)
  4. Astronomisches Inst. der Ruhr-Univ. Bochum, Bochum (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1543826
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 614; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-6361
Publisher:
EDP Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astronomy & Astrophysics; methods: observational; techniques: image processing; galaxies: formation; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: structure; galaxies: halos

Citation Formats

Morales, Gustavo, Martínez-Delgado, David, Grebel, Eva K., Cooper, Andrew P., Javanmardi, Behnam, and Miskolczi, Arpad. Systematic search for tidal features around nearby galaxies: I. Enhanced SDSS imaging of the Local Volume. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201732271.
Morales, Gustavo, Martínez-Delgado, David, Grebel, Eva K., Cooper, Andrew P., Javanmardi, Behnam, & Miskolczi, Arpad. Systematic search for tidal features around nearby galaxies: I. Enhanced SDSS imaging of the Local Volume. United States. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201732271.
Morales, Gustavo, Martínez-Delgado, David, Grebel, Eva K., Cooper, Andrew P., Javanmardi, Behnam, and Miskolczi, Arpad. Fri . "Systematic search for tidal features around nearby galaxies: I. Enhanced SDSS imaging of the Local Volume". United States. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201732271. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1543826.
@article{osti_1543826,
title = {Systematic search for tidal features around nearby galaxies: I. Enhanced SDSS imaging of the Local Volume},
author = {Morales, Gustavo and Martínez-Delgado, David and Grebel, Eva K. and Cooper, Andrew P. and Javanmardi, Behnam and Miskolczi, Arpad},
abstractNote = {In hierarchical models of galaxy formation, stellar tidal streams are expected around most, if not all, galaxies. Although these features may provide useful diagnostics of the Λ CDM model, their observational properties remain poorly constrained because they are challenging to detect and interpret and have been studied in detail for only a sparse sampling of galaxy population. More quantitative, systematic approaches are required. We advocate statistical analysis of the counts and properties of such features in archival wide-field imaging surveys for a direct comparison against results from numerical simulations. We aim to study systematically the frequency of occurrence and other observational properties of tidal features around nearby galaxies. The sample we construct will act as a foundational dataset for statistical comparison with cosmological models of galaxy formation. Our approach is based on a visual classification of diffuse features around a volume-limited sample of nearby galaxies, using a post-processing of Sloan Digital Syk Survey (SDSS) imaging optimized for the detection of stellar structure with low surface brightness. At a limiting surface brightness of 28 mag arcsec–2, 14% of the galaxies in our sample exhibit evidence of diffuse features likely to have arisen from minor merging events. Our technique recovers all previously known streams in our sample and yields a number of new candidates. Consistent with previous studies, coherent arc-like features and shells are the most common type of tidal structures found in this study. Here, we conclude that although some detections are ambiguous and could be corroborated or refuted with deeper imaging, our technique provides a reliable foundation for the statistical analysis of diffuse circumgalactic features in wide-area imaging surveys, and for the identification of targets for follow-up studies.},
doi = {10.1051/0004-6361/201732271},
journal = {Astronomy and Astrophysics},
number = ,
volume = 614,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

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