NGC 5523: An isolated product of soft galaxy mergers?⋆
Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
Received: 1 January 2016
Accepted: 3 October 2016
Multi-band images of the very isolated spiral galaxy NGC 5523 show a number of unusual features consistent with NGC 5523 having experienced a significant merger. (1) Near-infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) and the WIYN 3.5-m telescope reveal a nucleated bulge-like structure embedded in a spiral disk; (2) the bulge is offset by ~1.8 kpc from a brightness minimum at the center of the optically bright inner disk; (3) a tidal stream, possibly associated with an ongoing satellite interaction, extends from the nucleated bulge along the disk. We interpret these properties as the results of one or more non-disruptive mergers between NGC 5523 and companion galaxies or satellites, raising the possibility that some galaxies become isolated because they have merged with former companions.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 5523 / galaxies: structure / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: photometry
The reduced images (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/598/A119
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