Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Stellar Debris Around Starbust Galaxies: The Remnants of Galaxy Evolution

Elizabeth Wehner
McMaster University

Monday, November 27, 2006
12:30 PM @ Stirling 201

Abstract:

I will present a photometric study of three local starburst galaxies, NGC 3310, NGC 2782 and NGC 2655, that show signs of having recently undergone a merger with a companion galaxy. For each of these galaxies, deep optical images were obtained using the WIYN 3.5m and 0.9m telescopes in Kitt Peak, Arizona. These images reveal new low surface brightness features in the stellar debris network surrounding each galaxy. I will discuss the photometric properties of each galaxy and its debris and will explore what these debris tell us about each galaxy's merging history. For NGC 3310, I will also present kinematic data, which reveals a smoothly rotating disk in an otherwise extremely disturbed system, where no exponential disk is detectable. The implications of these results for disk formation models will also be explored.