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Stellar Tidal Streams as Cosmological Diagnostics: Comparing data and simulations at low galactic scales

Morales, Gustavo

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Abstract

In hierarchical models of galaxy formation, stellar tidal streams are expected around most galaxies. Although these features may provide useful diagnostics of the LCDM model, their observational properties remain poorly constrained. Statistical analysis of the counts and properties of such features is of interest for a direct comparison against results from numerical simulations. In this work, we aim to study systematically the frequency of occurrence and other observational properties of tidal features around nearby galaxies. The approach featured here is based on a visual classification of diffuse features around a sample of nearby galaxies, using a post-processing of optical survey imaging optimized for the detection of low-surfacebrightness stellar structure. At the limiting surface brightness of this sample, 14 − 17% of the galaxies exhibit evidence of diffuse features likely to have arisen from minor merging events. For simulated images, the frequency is 16 − 19%. Our technique recovers all previously known streams in the selected sample and yields a number of new candidates. We conclude that this methodology provides a reliable foundation for the statistical analysis of diffuse circumgalactic features in wide-area imaging surveys, and for the identification of targets for follow-up studies.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Grebel, Prof. Dr. Eva K.
Date of thesis defense: 25 July 2018
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2018 13:34
Date: 2018
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 520 Astronomy and allied sciences
Controlled Keywords: Astronomie
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