Tidal streams in newly discovered M32 analogues: evidence for the stripping scenario

Avon P Huxor, Steven Phillipps, James J E Price, Robert L Harniman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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We present two newly discovered compact elliptical (cE) galaxies, exhibiting clear evidence of tidal steams, and found during a search of SDSS DR7 for cE candidates. The structural parameters of the cEs are derived using galfit, giving effective radii, Re, of 388 and 263 pc, and B-band mean surface brightnesses within Re of 19.4 and 19.2 mag arcsec−2. We have re-analysed the SDSS spectra, which indicate that they possess young to intermediate-age stellar populations. These two cEs provide direct evidence, a ‘smoking gun’, for the process of tidal stripping that is believed to be the origin of M32-type galaxies. Both are in small groups with a large spiral fraction, suggesting that we may be seeing the formation of such cE galaxies in dynamically young environments. The more compact of the galaxies is found in a small group not unlike the Local Group, and thus it provides an additional model for the understanding of M32.
Translated title of the contributionTidal Streams in Newly Discovered M32 Analogues: Evidence for the Stripping Scenario
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3557-3565
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2011


  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: structure


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