Tidal Stellar Stream Detection

Image:    SDSS Image on NGC 3976, reprocessed by Carl Joseph. Highlighted are two suspect tidal stellar stream features.

Image: SDSS Image on NGC 3976, reprocessed by Carl Joseph. Highlighted are two suspect tidal stellar stream features.

Using optical data published by SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey), it is possible to process it in such a way that highlights features with very low surface brightness (~28 mag arcsec2).

In this project, I processed the optical SDSS data of 19 galaxies using the technique described in Morales et al. 2018, and Miskolczi et al. 2011.

Three galaxies were found with interesting features worthy of deeper study. The image shows one of these galaxies, NGC 3976. Detected were a small northern (∼26 arcsec long) and a southern line (∼19 arcsec long) of material. Consistently redder (and therefore older) than the host galaxy. The large northern arc is ruled out as a tidal stream due to similarity in colour to the host galaxy.

Download a poster version of the research.

AstronomyCarl Joseph