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Dissecting Halo Components in IFU Data

School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107 Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago de Chile, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Duncan A. Forbes and Ericson D. Lopez
Galaxies 2017, 5(2), 24;
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Origin (and Evolution) of Baryonic Galaxy Halos)
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While most astronomers are now familiar with tools to decompose images into multiple components such as disks, bulges, and halos, the equivalent techniques for spectral data cubes are still in their infancy. This is unfortunate, as integral field unit (IFU) spectral surveys are now producing a mass of data in this format, which we are ill-prepared to analyze effectively. We have therefore been developing new tools to separate out components using this full spectral data. The results of such analyses will prove invaluable in determining not only whether such decompositions have an astrophysical significance, but, where they do, also in determining the relationship between the various elements of a galaxy. Application to a pilot study of IFU data from the cD galaxy NGC 3311 confirms that the technique can separate the stellar halo from the underlying galaxy in such systems, and indicates that, in this case, the halo is older and more metal poor than the galaxy, consistent with it forming from the cannibalism of smaller satellite galaxies. The success of the method bodes well for its application to studying the larger samples of cD galaxies that IFU surveys are currently producing. View Full-Text
Keywords: galaxy formation and evolution; integral field unit spectroscopy; cD galaxies galaxy formation and evolution; integral field unit spectroscopy; cD galaxies

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Merrifield, M.; Johnston, E.; Aragón-Salamanca, A. Dissecting Halo Components in IFU Data. Galaxies 2017, 5, 24.

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