Volume 634, February 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||20 February 2020|
The strange case of the peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 5474
New pieces of a galactic puzzle
INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Via Gobetti93/2, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università of Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy
4 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Accepted: 7 January 2020
We present the first analysis of the stellar content of the structures and substructures identified in the peculiar star-forming galaxy NGC 5474, based on Hubble Space Telescope resolved photometry from the LEGUS survey. NGC 5474 is a satellite of the giant spiral M 101, and it is known to have a prominent bulge that is significantly off-set from the kinematic centre of the underlying H I and stellar disc. The youngest stars (age ≲ 100 Myr) trace a flocculent spiral pattern extending out to ≳8 kpc from the centre of the galaxy. On the other hand, intermediate-age (age ≳ 500 Myr) and old (age ≳ 2 Gyr) stars dominate the off-centred bulge and a large substructure residing in the south-western part of the disc (SW over-density) and they are not correlated with the spiral arms. The old age of the stars in the SW over-density suggests that this may be another signature of any dynamical interactions that have shaped this anomalous galaxy. We suggest that a fly by with M 101, generally invoked as the origin of the anomalies, may not be sufficient to explain all the observations. A more local and more recent interaction may help to put all the pieces of this galactic puzzle together.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 5474 / galaxies: peculiar / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: structure
© ESO 2020
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