Context: Systems of shells and polar rings in early-type galaxies are considered “bona fide” tracers of mass accretion and/or mergers. Their high frequency in low density environments suggests that these processes could drive the evolution of at least a fraction of the early-type galaxy population. Aims: We investigate the star formation histories of this type of galaxies. Their UV emission is important for testing whether these galaxies host ongoing or recent star formation and how this formation varies across the galaxy. Methods: We used far- and near- ultraviolet, optical, near-infrared images, neutral hydrogen HI maps, and line-strength indices to investigate the nuclear and outer regions of these galaxies as well as the regions where fine structures are present. Results: The GALEX near UV (NUV) and far UV (FUV) images of MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210 show complex tidal tails and debris structures. The far UV morphology of both galaxies appears so different from the optical morphology that the early-type classification may not apply. In both GALEX bands, the polar ring of MCG-05-07-001 is the dominant feature, whereas an extended tidal tail dominates the FUV bands of NGC 1210. In MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210, there is a strong correlation between structures detected in the FUV and NUV bands and in HI. In contrast, NGC 5329 does not show evidence of shells in the GALEX bands. We try to constrain the age of the accretion episode or merger that produced the shells and polar rings with the aid of composite stellar populations that take the presence of dust into account. The presence of HI in both MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210 argues in favour of wet mergers. Models suggest the presence of very young stellar populations in MCG-05-07-001: the observations could be explained in the framework of a conspicuous burst of star formation that occurred ≤1 Gyr ago and involved a large fraction of the galaxy mass. Our models suggest that also the nuclei of NGC 1210 and NGC 5329 could have been rejuvenated by an accretion episode about 2-4 Gyr ago.

GALEX UV properties of the polar ring galaxy MCG-05-07-001 and the shell galaxies NGC 1210 and NGC 5329

MARINO, ANTONINA;PIOVAN, LORENZO;CHIOSI, CESARE;GALLETTA, GIUSEPPE;
2009

Abstract

Context: Systems of shells and polar rings in early-type galaxies are considered “bona fide” tracers of mass accretion and/or mergers. Their high frequency in low density environments suggests that these processes could drive the evolution of at least a fraction of the early-type galaxy population. Aims: We investigate the star formation histories of this type of galaxies. Their UV emission is important for testing whether these galaxies host ongoing or recent star formation and how this formation varies across the galaxy. Methods: We used far- and near- ultraviolet, optical, near-infrared images, neutral hydrogen HI maps, and line-strength indices to investigate the nuclear and outer regions of these galaxies as well as the regions where fine structures are present. Results: The GALEX near UV (NUV) and far UV (FUV) images of MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210 show complex tidal tails and debris structures. The far UV morphology of both galaxies appears so different from the optical morphology that the early-type classification may not apply. In both GALEX bands, the polar ring of MCG-05-07-001 is the dominant feature, whereas an extended tidal tail dominates the FUV bands of NGC 1210. In MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210, there is a strong correlation between structures detected in the FUV and NUV bands and in HI. In contrast, NGC 5329 does not show evidence of shells in the GALEX bands. We try to constrain the age of the accretion episode or merger that produced the shells and polar rings with the aid of composite stellar populations that take the presence of dust into account. The presence of HI in both MCG-05-07-001 and NGC 1210 argues in favour of wet mergers. Models suggest the presence of very young stellar populations in MCG-05-07-001: the observations could be explained in the framework of a conspicuous burst of star formation that occurred ≤1 Gyr ago and involved a large fraction of the galaxy mass. Our models suggest that also the nuclei of NGC 1210 and NGC 5329 could have been rejuvenated by an accretion episode about 2-4 Gyr ago.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2470370
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