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Astron. Astrophys. 334, L9-L12 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

NGC 5907 revisited: a stellar halo formed by cannibalism? *

J. Lequeux 1, F. Combes 1, M. Dantel-Fort 1, J.-C. Cuillandre 2, B. Fort 1, 3 and Y. Mellier 1, 3

1 DEMIRM, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France
2 Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, P.O. Box 1597, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA
3 Institut d'Astrophysique, 98 bis Bd. Arago, F-75014 Paris, France

Received 16 February 1998 / Accepted 10 April 1998


We report on further observations of the luminous halo of NGC 5907. New V, I and B deep photometry confirms the existence of an extended stellar halo redder than the disk. Our data are consistent with a faint halo, or very thick disk, composed of a metal-rich old stellar population. We propose that it could be the remnant of a merged small elliptical, and we support our hypothesis with N-body simulations.

Key words: galaxies: NGC 5907 - galaxies: interactions - galaxies: kinematics and dynamics - galaxies: photometry - galaxies: abundances - galaxies: halos

* Based on data obtained with the CFHT in Hawaii

Send offprint requests to: lequeux@mesioa.obspm.fr

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: May 12, 1998