Resolving the extended stellar halos of nearby galaxies: The wide-field PISCeS survey

D. Crnojević, D. J. Sand, N. Caldwell, P. Guhathakurta, B. McLeod, A. Seth, J. D. Simon, J. Strader, E. Toloba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the wide-field Panoramic Imaging Survey of Centaurus and Sculptor (PISCeS), we investigate the resolved stellar halos of two nearby galaxies (the elliptical Centaurus A and the spiral Sculptor, D ~ 3.7 Mpc) out to a projected galactocentric radius of 150 kpc with Magellan/Megacam. The survey has led to the discovery of ~20 faint satellites to date, plus prominent streams and substructures in two environments that are substantially different from the Local Group, i.e. the Centaurus A group dominated by an elliptical and the loose Sculptor group of galaxies. These discoveries clearly attest to the importance of past and ongoing accretion processes in shaping the halos of these nearby galaxies, and provide the first census of their satellite systems down to an unprecedented MV <-8. The detailed characterization of the stellar content, shape and gradients in the extended halos of Sculptor, Centaurus A, and their dwarf satellites provides key constraints on theoretical models of galaxy formation and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberS317
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • galaxies: groups: individual (CenA, NGC253)-galaxies: halos-galaxies: dwarf-galaxies: photometry-galaxies: evolution-galaxies: luminosity function-galaxies: stellar content-galaxies: interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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