A giant umbrella-like stellar stream around the tidal ring galaxy NGC 922

David Martinez-Delgado, Santi Roca-Fabrega, Juan Miro-Carretero, Maria Angeles Gomez-Flechoso, Javier Roman, Giuseppe Donatiello, Judy Schmidt, Dustin Lang, Mohammad Akhlaghi

Submitted on 4 September 2022


Tidal ring galaxies are observed rarely in the local universe due to their intrinsically transient nature. The tidal ring structures are the result of strong interactions between gas-rich stellar disks and smaller galactic systems and do not last longer than ~500~Myr therefore, these are perfect scenarios where to find the debris of recently accreted dwarf galactic systems. We present new deep images of the NGC 922 tidal ring galaxy and its surroundings from the DESI Legacy survey data and from our observations with an amateur telescope. These observations are compared with results from high-resolution N-body simulations designed to reproduce an alternative formation scenario for this peculiar galaxy. Our new observations unveil that the low surface brightness stellar tidal structures around NGC 922 are much more complex than reported in previous works. In particular, the formerly detected tidal spike-like structure at the northeast of the central galaxy disk is not connected with the dwarf companion galaxy PGC3080368, which has been suggested as the intruder triggering the ring formation of NGC 922. The deep images reveal that this tidal structure is mainly composed by a fainter giant umbrella-like shape and thus it was formed from the tidal disruption of a different satellite. Using the broad-band g, r and z DESI LS images, we measured the photometric properties of this stellar stream, estimating a total absolute magnitude in r-band of Mr= -17.0 +/- 0.03 magn and a total stellar mass for the stream between 6.9-8.5X10^8 Mo. We perform a set of N-body simulations to reproduce the observed NGC 922-intruder interaction, suggesting a new scenario for the formation of its tidal ring from the in-fall of a gas rich satellite around 150 Myr ago.


Comment: 8 Pages, 4 figures, submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies