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2010 CFHT Users Meeting
November 16-18, 2010
ASIAA Auditorium, Taipei, Taiwan

Oral Presentation

Deep imaging of early-type galaxies with MegaCam

Author(s): Duc, P.-A

Presenter: Pierre-Alain Duc (AIM Paris-Saclay)

The mass assembly of galaxies leaves various imprints in their surroundings, such as shells, streams, tidal tails, extended halos, etc... The frequency and properties of these fine structures depend on the mechanism driving the mass assembly. Depending on whether massive galaxies, were formed through a monolithic collapse, rapid cold-gas accretion followed by violent disk instabilities, minor mergers or major dry / wet mergers, the ubiquity of fine structures will go from none to significant. Therefore by studying the outskirts of galaxies, one can learn about their main formation mechanism.
Most efforts in this direction have so far been done for very nearby spiral galaxies; because Early-Type Galaxies (ETGs) are the most powerful probes at low redshift of the hierarchical mass assembly of galaxies, they should exhibit even more fine structures than late type galaxies.
I will present our on-going work to characterize the external parts of ETGs which relies on:
- extremely deep, wide-field, optical images obtained with MegaCam of field and cluster ETGs obtained as part of the resp. ATLAS-3D and NGVS projects, which reveal a wealth of unknown faint structures at levels as faint as 29 mag/arcsec2.
- state of the art numerical simulations of mergers, either idealized or made in cosmological context, which are used to interpret the observational data and constrain the mass assembly of galaxies.

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