Astrophys. J., 833, 168-168 (2016/December-3)
The Dragonfly Nearby Galaxies Survey. II. Ultra-diffuse galaxies near the elliptical galaxy NGC 5485.
MERRITT A., VAN DOKKUM P., DANIELI S., ABRAHAM R., ZHANG J., KARACHENTSEV I.D. and MAKAROVA L.N.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the unexpected discovery of four ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) in a group environment. We recently identified seven extremely low surface brightness galaxies in the vicinity of the spiral galaxy M101, using data from the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. The galaxies have effective radii of 10''-38'' and central surface brightnesses of 25.6-27.7 mag arcsec–2 in the g-band. We subsequently obtained follow-up observations with HST to constrain the distances to these galaxies. Four remain persistently unresolved even with the spatial resolution of HST/ACS, which implies distances of D>17.5 Mpc. We show that the galaxies are most likely associated with a background group at ∼27 Mpc containing the massive ellipticals NGC 5485 and NGC 5473. At this distance, the galaxies have sizes of 2.6-4.9 kpc, and are classified as UDGs, similar to the populations that have been revealed in clusters such as Coma, Virgo, and Fornax, yet even more diffuse. The discovery of four UDGs in a galaxy group demonstrates that the UDG phenomenon is not exclusive to cluster environments. Furthermore, their morphologies seem less regular than those of the cluster populations, which may suggest a different formation mechanism or be indicative of a threshold in surface density below which UDGs are unable to maintain stability.
© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
galaxies: evolution - galaxies: groups: general - galaxies: photometry - galaxies: stellar content - galaxies: structure - galaxies: structure
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