The frequency and properties of young tidal dwarf galaxies in nearby gas-rich groups

K. Lee-Waddell, K. Spekkens, P. Chandra, N. Patra, J.C. Cuillandre, J. Wang, M. P. Haynes, J. Cannon, S. Stierwalt, J. Sick, R. Giovanelli

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11 Citations (Scopus)


We present high-resolution Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) H i observations and deep Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) optical imaging of two galaxy groups: NGC 4725/47 and NGC 3166/9. These data are part of a multi-wavelength unbiased survey of the gas-rich dwarf galaxy populations in three nearby interacting galaxy groups. The NGC 4725/47 group hosts two tidal knots and one dwarf irregular galaxy (dIrr). Both tidal knots are located within a prominent H i tidal tail, appear to have sufficient mass (Mgas ≈ 108 M) to evolve into long-lived tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) and are fairly young in age. The NGC 3166/9 group contains a TDG candidate, AGC 208457, at least three dIrrs and four H i knots. Deep CFHT imaging confirms that the optical component of AGC 208457 is bluer - with a 0.28 mag g - r colour - and a few Gyr younger than its purported parent galaxies. Combining the results for these groups with those from the NGC 871/6/7 group reported earlier, we find that the H i properties, estimated stellar ages and baryonic content of the gas-rich dwarfs clearly distinguish tidal features from their classical counterparts. We optimistically identify four potentially long-lived tidal objects associated with three separate pairs of interacting galaxies, implying that TDGs are not readily produced during interaction events as suggested by some recent simulations. The tidal objects examined in this survey also appear to have a wider variety of properties than TDGs of similar mass formed in current simulations of interacting galaxies, which could be the result of pre- or post-formation environmental influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2945-2961
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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