Galaxy evolution in groups
NGC 3447/NGC 3447A: the odd couple in LGG 225⋆
1 INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
2 Laboratório de Astrofísica Teórica e Observational, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, 45650-000 Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil
3 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Av. Universidad 3000, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 04510, Mexico
4 Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Physics, México City, México D.F., Mexico
Received: 17 May 2017
Accepted: 19 October 2017
Context. Local Group (LG) analogs (LGAs) are galaxy associations dominated by a few bright spirals reminiscent of the LG. The NGC 3447/NGC 3447A system is a member of the LGG 225 group, a nearby LGA. This system is considered a physical pair composed of an intermediate-luminosity late-type spiral, NGC 3447 itself, and an irregular companion, NGC 3447A, linked by a faint, short filament of matter. A ring-like structure in the NGC 3447 outskirts has been emphasised by Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) observations.
Aims. This work aims to contribute to the study of galaxy evolution in low-density environments, a favourable habitat to highly effective encounters, shedding light on the evolution of the NGC 3447/NGC 3447A system.
Methods. We performed a multi-λ analysis of the surface photometry of this system to derive its spectral energy distribution and structural properties using ultraviolet (UV), Swift UVOT, and optical Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) images complemented with available far-IR observations. We also characterised the velocity field of the pair using two-dimensional Hα kinematical observations of the system obtained with PUMA Fabry-Perot interferometer at the 2.1 m telescope of San Pedro Mártir (Mexico). All these data are used to constrain smooth particle hydrodynamic simulations with chemo-photometric implementation to shed light on the evolution of this system.
Results. The luminosity profiles, from UV to optical wavelengths, are all consistent with the presence of a disc extending and including NGC 3447A. The overall velocity field does not emphasise any significant rotation pattern, rather a small velocity gradient between NGC 3447 and NGC 3447A. Our simulation, detached from a large grid explored to best-fit the global properties of the system, suggests that this arises from an encounter between two halos of equal mass.
Conclusions. NGC 3447 and NGC 3447A belong to the same halo, NGC 3447A being a substructure of the same disk including NGC 3447. The halo gravitational instability, enhanced by the encounter, fuels a long-lived instability in this dark-matter-dominated disk, driving the observed morphology. The NGC 3447/NGC 3447A system may warn of a new class of “false pairs” and the potential danger of a misunderstanding of such objects in pair surveys that could produce a severe underestimate of the total mass of a system.
Key words: galaxies: groups: individual: LGG 225 / galaxies: individual: NGC 3447/NGC 3447A / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: photometry / galaxies: evolution
The reduced images and datacubes are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/610/A8
© ESO, 2018