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Tidal interactions at the edge of the Local Group: new evidence for tidal features in the Antlia Dwarf galaxy

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  • Dr Samantha Penny
  • Kevin A. Pimbblet
  • Christopher J. Conselice
  • Michael J. I. Brown
  • Ruth Grützbauch
  • David J. E. Floyd

Using deep B-band imaging down to μB = 26 mag arcsec -2, we present evidence for tidal tails in the Antlia Dwarf galaxy, one of the most distant members of the Local Group. This elongation is in the direction of Antlia's nearest neighbor, the Magellanic-type NGC3109. The tail is offset by <10° from a vector linking the centers of the two galaxies, indicative of interactions between the pair. Combined with the warped disk previously identified in NGC3109, Antlia and NGC3109 must be at a small separation for tidal features to be present in Antlia. We calculate that Antlia cannot be completely disrupted by NGC3109 in a single interaction unless its orbit pericenter is <6 kpc; however, multiple interactions could significantly alter its morphology. Therefore despite being located right at the edge of the Local Group, environmental effects are playing an important role in Antlia's evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL32
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2012

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