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Detection of a stellar halo in NGC 4244

  • A. Seth (a1), R. de Jong (a2), J. Dalcanton (a3) and the GHOSTS team
Abstract
Abstract

We present the preliminary detection of a stellar halo in the nearby, edge-on galaxy, NGC 4244. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (HST/ACS), we have examined number counts of red giant branch (RGB) stars along the minor axis of the galaxy out to 10 kpc, with a limiting surface brightness of μR ∼ 31 mag/arcsec2. At distances more than 2.5 kpc above the disk, a second stellar component is clearly visible. This component is well fit by either an exponential or a power law. The best-fit exponential scale height is similar to the scale length of the galaxy disk, suggesting that we are indeed detecting a halo component. Furthermore, the color of the RGB stars above 2.5 kpc are significantly bluer than those in the disk, suggesting a more metal-poor population. Outside the local group, this finding represents one of the first detections of a resolved stellar halo in a spiral galaxy.

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Copyright
References
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Bullock J. S., & Johnston K. V. 2005, ApJ, 635, 931
Fry A. M., Morrison H. L., Harding P., & Boroson T. A. 1999, AJ, 118, 1209
Kalirai J. S. et al. , 2006, ApJ, 648, 389
McConnachie A. W. et al. , 2006, ApJL, 647, L25
Seth A. C., Dalcanton J. J., & de Jong R. S. 2005a, AJ, 129, 1331
Seth A. C. 2005b, AJ, 130, 1574
Zibetti S., White S. D. M., & Brinkmann J. 2004, MNRAS, 347, 556
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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