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Title: DETECTION OF A DISTINCT METAL-POOR STELLAR HALO IN THE EARLY-TYPE GALAXY NGC 3115

We present the resolved stellar populations in the inner and outer halo of the nearby lenticular galaxy NGC 3115. Using deep Hubble Space Telescope observations, we analyze stars 2 mag fainter than the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB). We study three fields along the minor axis of this galaxy, 19, 37, and 54 kpc from its center—corresponding to 7, 14, and 21 effective radii (r{sub e} ). Even at these large galactocentric distances, all of the fields are dominated by a relatively enriched population, with the main peak in the metallicity distribution decreasing with radius from [Z/H] ∼ –0.5 to –0.65. The fraction of metal-poor stars ([Z/H] < –0.95) increases from 17% at 16-37 kpc to 28% at ∼54 kpc. We observe a distinct low-metallicity population (peaked at [Z/H] ∼ –1.3 and with total mass 2 × 10{sup 10} M {sub ☉} ∼ 14% of the galaxy's stellar mass) and argue that this represents the detection of an underlying low-metallicity stellar halo. Such halos are generally predicted by galaxy formation theories and have been observed in several late-type galaxies, including the Milky Way and M31. The metallicity and spatial distribution of the stellar halo of NGC 3115 are consistent with the galaxy'smore » globular cluster system, which has a similar low-metallicity population that becomes dominant at these large radii. This finding supports the use of globular clusters as bright chemodynamical tracers of galaxy halos. These data also allow us to make a precise measurement of the magnitude of the TRGB, from which we derive a distance modulus of NGC 3115 of 30.05 ± 0.05 ± 0.10{sub sys} (10.2 ± 0.2 ± 0.5{sub sys} Mpc)« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, San José State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States)
  3. University of California Observatories/Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364259
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 800; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DETECTION; DISTANCE; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; GALAXY CLUSTERS; MASS; METALLICITY; MILKY WAY; RED SHIFT; SPACE; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS; TELESCOPES