Tidal interaction as the origin of early-type dwarf galaxies in group environments.
PAUDEL S. and REE C.H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a sample of dwarf galaxies that suffer ongoing disruption by the tidal forces of nearby massive galaxies. By analyzing structural and stellar population properties using the archival imaging and spectroscopic data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we find that they are likely a "smoking gun" example of the formation through tidal stirring of early-type dwarf galaxies (dEs) in the galaxy group environment. The inner cores of these galaxies are fairly intact and the observed light profiles are well fit by the Sérsic functions while the tidally stretched stellar halos are prominent in the outer parts. They are all located within a sky-projected distance of 50 kpc from the centers of the host galaxies and no dwarf galaxies have relative line-of-sight velocities larger than 205 km/s to their hosts. We derive the Composite Stellar Population properties of these galaxies by fitting the SDSS optical spectra to a multiple-burst composite stellar population model. We find that these galaxies accumulate a significant fraction of stellar mass within the last 1 Gyr and contain a majority stellar population with an intermediate age of 2 to 4 Gyr. Based on this evidence, we argue that tidal stirring, particularly through the galaxy-galaxy interaction, might have an important role in the formation and evolution of dEs in the group environment where the influence of other gas stripping mechanism might be limited.