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|Paper IPM / Astronomy / 15278||
In hierarchical models of galaxy formation, stellar tidal streams are expected around most, if not all, galaxies. Although these features may provide useful diagnostics of the Î CDM model, their observational properties remain poorly constrained because they are challenging to detect and interpret and have been studied in detail for only a sparse sampling of galaxy population. More quantitative, systematic approaches are required. We advocate statistical analysis of the counts and properties of such features in archival wide-field imaging surveys for a direct comparison against results from numerical simulations. Aims. We aim to study systematically the frequency of occurrence and other observational properties of tidal features around nearby galaxies. The sample we construct will act as a foundational dataset for statistical comparison with cosmological models of galaxy formation.
Methods. Our approach is based on a visual classification of diffuse features around a volume-limited sample of nearby galaxies, using a post-processing of Sloan Digital Syk Survey (SDSS) imaging optimized for the detection of stellar structure with low surface brightness.
Results. At a limiting surface brightness of 28 mag arcsecâ2, 14
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