The Astronomical Journal
galaxies: evolution, galaxies: interactions, galaxies: structure
Astrophysics and Astronomy | External Galaxies
Stellar streams have become central to studies of the interaction histories of nearby galaxies. To characterize the most prominent parts of the stellar stream around the well-known nearby (d = 17 Mpc) edge-on disk galaxy NGC 5907, we have obtained and analyzed new, deep gri Subaru/Suprime-Cam and 3.6 μm Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera observations. Combining the near-infrared 3.6 μm data with visible-light images allows us to use a long wavelength baseline to estimate the metallicity and age of the stellar population along an ~60 kpc long segment of the stream. We have fitted the stellar spectral energy distribution with a single-burst stellar population synthesis model and we use it to distinguish between the proposed satellite accretion and minor/major merger formation models of the stellar stream around this galaxy. We conclude that a massive minor merger (stellar mass ratio of at least 1:8) can best account for the metallicity of −0.3 inferred along the brightest parts of the stream.
Seppo Laine, Carl Grillmair, Peter Capak, Richard Arendt, Aaron Romanowsky, David Martínez-Delgado, Matthew Ashby, James Davies, Stephen Majewski, Jean Brodie, R. GaBany, and Jacob Arnold. "Metallicity and Age of the Stellar Stream Around the Disk Galaxy NGC 5907" The Astronomical Journal (2016). https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/72