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Tidal Interactions at the Edge of the Local Group: New Evidence for Tidal Features in the Antlia Dwarf Galaxy

S. J. Penny, K. A. Pimbblet, C. J. Conselice, M. J. I. Brown, R. Grützbauch, D. J. E. Floyd

Using deep B-band imaging down to ~mu B = 26 mag arcsec-2, we present evidence for tidal tails in the Antlia Dwarf galaxy, one of the most distant members of the Local Group. This elongation is in the direction of Antlia's nearest neighbor, the Magellanic-type NGC 3109. The tail is offset by <10° from a vector linking the centers of the two galaxies, indicative of interactions between the pair. Combined with the warped disk previously identified in NGC 3109, Antlia and NGC 3109 must be at a small separation for tidal features to be present in Antlia. We calculate that Antlia cannot be completely disrupted by NGC 3109 in a single interaction unless its orbit pericenter is <6 kpc; however, multiple interactions could significantly alter its morphology. Therefore despite being located right at the edge of the Local Group, environmental effects are playing an important role in Antlia's evolution.

galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: individual: Antlia: Dwar - galaxies: interactions, Local: Group

The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 758, Number 2, Page L32_1
2012 September

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia