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          Institute: MPI für Radioastronomie     Collection: Publikationen des MPI für Radioastronomie     Display Documents



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ID: 12254.0, MPI für Radioastronomie / Publikationen des MPI für Radioastronomie
Ripples and tails in the compact group of galaxies Hickson 54
Authors:Verdes-Montenegro, L.; Del Olmo, A.; Iglesias-Páramo, J. I.; Perea, J.; Vilchez, J. M.; Yun, M. S.; Huchtmeier, W. K.
Language:English
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2002-12
Title of Journal:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Journal Abbrev.:Astron. Astrophys.
Volume:396
Issue / Number:3
Start Page:815
End Page:832
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:HCG 54 has been classified as a compact galaxy group by Hickson, but its nature is uncertain because of its unusual properties. We present here a study of HCG 54 based on deep optical images and spectroscopy as well as high spatial and spectral resolution HI observations obtained at the VLA. Both optical and radio data indicate clearly that HCG 54 is a product of a recent merger involving at least two galaxies. Our optical images have revealed a blue elongated structure associated with HCG 54a embedded in a rounder and redder stellar envelope. Several ripples or shells whose center is located near HCG 54a and b are also detected. These observed features are similar to those found in the numerical simulations of tidal interactions involving two equal mass disk galaxies. This system is embedded in an HI cloud 12 kpc in diameter, and a 20 kpc HI tidal tail emerges from its western edge. Both the HI distribution and kinematics are consistent with a recent history of a deeply penetrating interaction or a merger. Based on the analysis of our new data we propose that HCG 54 is the remnant of a merger in an advanced stage, whose main body is what has been called HCG 54a, while HCG 54b marks the location of a strong starburst induced by the interaction, as evidenced by the Wolf Rayet stellar population that we detect. Optical spectra of HCG 54c and d show HII region features and are interpreted as tidal debris of the collision undergoing active star formation.
Free Keywords:galaxies : interactions; galaxies : kinematics and dynamics; galaxies : evolution; galaxies : structure; radio lines : galaxies; galaxies : individual : HCG 54
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Radioastronomie
External Affiliations:CSIC, Inst Astrofis Andalucia, Apdo Correos 3004, E-18080; Granada, Spain; CSIC, Inst Astrofis Andalucia, E-18080 Granada, Spain; Traverse Siphon Les Trois Lucs, Lab Astrophys Marseille, F-13376 Marseille, France; Univ Massachusetts, Dept Astron, Amherst, MA 01003 USA; Max Planck Inst Radioastron, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
Identifiers:ISI:000179630600009
ISSN:0004-6361
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