The Atlas3D project -- XXIX. The new look of early-type galaxies and surrounding fields disclosed by extremely deep optical images
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Galactic archaeology based on star counts is instrumental to reconstruct the past mass assembly of Local Group galaxies. The development of new observing techniques and data reduction, coupled with the use of sensitive large field of view cameras, now allows us to pursue this technique in more distant galaxies exploiting their diffuse low surface brightness (LSB) light. As part of the ATLAS3D project, we have obtained with the MegaCam camera at the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope extremely deep, multiband images of nearby early-type galaxies (ETGs). We present here a catalogue of 92 galaxies from the ATLAS3D sample, which are located in low- to medium-density environments. The observing strategy and data reduction pipeline, which achieve a gain of several magnitudes in the limiting surface brightness with respect to classical imaging surveys, are presented. The size and depth of the survey are compared to other recent deep imaging projects. The paper highlights the capability of LSB-optimized surveys at detecting new prominent structures that change the apparent morphology of galaxies. The intrinsic limitations of deep imaging observations are also discussed, among those, the contamination of the stellar haloes of galaxies by extended ghost reflections, and the cirrus emission from Galactic dust. The detection and systematic census of fine structures that trace the present and past mass assembly of ETGs are one of the prime goals of the project. We provide specific examples of each type of observed structures – tidal tails, stellar streams and shells – and explain how they were identified and classified. We give an overview of the initial results. The detailed statistical analysis will be presented in future papers.
Duc , P-A , Cuillandre , J-C , Karabal , E , Cappellari , M , Alatalo , K , Blitz , L , Bournaud , F , Bureau , M , Crocker , A F , Davies , R L , Davis , T A , de Zeeuw , P T , Emsellem , E , Khochfar , S , Krajnovic , D , Kuntschner , H , McDermid , R M , Michel-Dansac , L , Morganti , R , Naab , T , Oosterloo , T , Paudel , S , Sarzi , M , Scott , N , Serra , P , Weijmans , A-M & Young , L M 2015 , ' The Atlas3D project -- XXIX. The new look of early-type galaxies and surrounding fields disclosed by extremely deep optical images ' Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol 446 , no. 1 , pp. 120-143 . DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2019
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
© 2014. The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu2019
P-AD acknowledges support from Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR10-BLANC-0506-01). LM-D acknowledges support from the Lyon Institute of Origins under grant ANR-10-LABX-66. MC acknowledges support from a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. This work was supported by the rolling grants PP/E001114/1 and ST/H002456/1 and visitors grants PPA/V/S/2002/00553, PP/E001564/1 and ST/H504862/1 from the UK Research Councils. RLD acknowledges travel and computer grants from Christ Church, Oxford, and support from the Royal Society in the form of a Wolfson Merit Award 502011.K502/jd. SK acknowledges support from the Royal Society Joint Projects Grant JP0869822. TN acknowledges support from the DFG Cluster of Excellence ‘Origin and Structure of the Universe’. MS acknowledges support from a STFC Advanced Fellowship ST/F009186/1. LMY acknowledges support from NSF grant AST-1109803. TAD acknowledges the support provided by an ESO fellowship. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (/FP7/2007-2013/) under grant agreement No 229517. The authors acknowledge financial support from ESO.
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