The SLUGGS survey: Using extended stellar kinematics to disentangle the formation histories of low mass S0 galaxies [GA]

We utilise the DEIMOS instrument on the Keck telescope to measure the wide-field stellar kinematics of early-type galaxies as part of the SAGES Legacy Unifying Globulars and GalaxieS (SLUGGS) survey. In this paper, we focus on some of the lowest stellar mass lenticular galaxies within this survey, namely NGC 2549, NGC 4474, NGC 4459 and NGC 7457, performing detailed kinematic analyses out to large radial distances of $\sim 2-3$ effective radii. For NGC 2549, we present the first analysis of data taken with the SuperSKiMS (Stellar Kinematics from Multiple Slits) technique.
To better probe kinematic variations in the outskirts of the SLUGGS galaxies, we have defined a local measure of stellar spin. We use this parameter and identify a clear separation in the radial behaviour of stellar spin between lenticular and elliptical galaxies, thereby reinforcing the physically meaningful nature of their morphological classifications.
We compare the kinematic properties of our galaxies with those from various simulated galaxies to extract plausible formation scenarios. By doing this for multiple simulations, we assess the consistency of the theoretical results. Comparisons to binary merger simulations show that low-mass lenticular galaxies generally resemble the spiral progenitors more than the merger remnants themselves, an indication that these galaxies are not formed through merger events. We find, however, that recent mergers cannot be ruled out for some lenticular galaxies.

Read this paper on arXiv…

S. Bellstedt, D. Forbes, C. Foster, et. al.
Mon, 20 Feb 17

Comments: 20 pages, 15 figures, accepted to MNRAS