NGC 3310 and Its Tidal Debris: Remnants of Galaxy Evolution

Research paper by Elizabeth H. Wehner, John S. Gallagher, Polichronis Papaderos, Uta Fritze-von Alvensleben, Kyle B. Westfall

Indexed on: 05 Jul '06Published on: 05 Jul '06Published in: Astrophysics


NGC 3310 is a local galaxy with an intense, ongoing starburst thought to result from a merger with a companion galaxy. It has several known tidal features in the northwest and southern regions around the main galactic disc, as well as a closed, tidal loop emerging from the eastern side of the disc and rejoining in the north. This loop appears to be distinct from the rest of the shells surrounding NGC3310 and is the first of its kind to be detected in a starburst galaxy. In this work, we present UBVR photometry to faint surface brightness levels of this debris network, and we explore various strategies for modelling NGC 3310's disc and subtracting its contribution from each region of debris. We then compare these photometric results with the GALEV spectral synthesis models, and find possible material from the intruder galaxy, suggesting that the recent accretion of several small galaxies is driving the evolution of NGC 3310.