Volume 409, Number 1, October I 2003
|Page(s)||91 - 97|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
On the nature of the galaxy NGC 5666
IATE, Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, & CONICET, Laprida 854, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina
2 UMR 5572, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Corresponding author: C. J. Donzelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 2 July 2003
We present B and R CCD images and optical spectroscopy in the range 3700–8900 Å for the galaxy NGC 5666, which until now was considered as a low-luminosity elliptical. The high-resolution images show a conspicuous spiral pattern which is limited to the inner region (, or 1/6 of the isophotal radius) and a faint (presumably tidal) outer feature dotted with small knots resembling star clusters or tidal dwarf galaxies. The patchy spiral structure and the luminosity profiles suggest a late-type morphological type, but the disk is of high central surface brightness and the bulge weak and very extended. The nuclear spectrum reveals typical emission lines found in late-type galaxies, but the underlying nuclear stellar population and continuum only match that of an elliptical galaxy combined with a young (<1 Gyr) stellar population. These and other properties of the galaxy suggest that this could be a minor merger, at an intermediate stage, between a gas-rich dwarf and a small early-type disk galaxy. If this is the case, the galaxy NGC 5666 will provide important constraints to the theory of hierarchical galaxy formation.
Key words: galaxies: photometry
© ESO, 2003
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.