Early-type galaxies with tidal debris and their scaling relations in the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G)

Taehyun Kim, Kartik Sheth, Joannah L. Hinz, Myung Gyoon Lee, Dennis Zaritsky, Dimitri A. Gadotti, Johan H. Knapen, Eva Schinnerer, Luis C. Ho, Eija Laurikainen, Heikki Salo, E. Athanassoula, Albert Bosma, Bonita De Swardt, Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mateos, Barry F. Madore, Sébastien Comerón, Michael W. Regan, Karín Menéndez-Delmestre, Armando Gil De PazMark Seibert, Jarkko Laine, Santiago Erroz-Ferrer, Trisha Mizusawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Tidal debris around galaxies can yield important clues on their evolution. We have identified tidal debris in 11 early-type galaxies (T ≤ 0) from a sample of 65 early types drawn from the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G). The tidal debris includes features such as shells, ripples, and tidal tails. A variety of techniques, including two-dimensional decomposition of galactic structures, were used to quantify the residual tidal features. The tidal debris contributes ∼ 3%-10% to the total 3.6 μm luminosity of the host galaxy. Structural parameters of the galaxies were estimated using two-dimensional profile fitting. We investigate the locations of galaxies with tidal debris in the fundamental plane and Kormendy relation. We find that galaxies with tidal debris lie within the scatter of early-type galaxies without tidal features. Assuming that the tidal debris is indicative of recent gravitational interaction or merger, this suggests that these galaxies have either undergone minor merging events so that the overall structural properties of the galaxies are not significantly altered, or they have undergone a major merging events but already have experienced sufficient relaxation and phase mixing so that their structural properties become similar to those of the non-interacting early-type galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • galaxies: individual (NGC 474, NGC 680, NGC 1222, NGC 1482, NGC 2634, NGC 3032, NGC 4106, NGC 4694,NGC 5018, NGC 5574, NGC 5576)
  • galaxies: interactions
  • galaxies: structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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