Mergers and tidal interactions between massive galaxies and their dwarf satellites are a fundamental prediction of the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter cosmology. These events are thought to influence galaxy evolution throughout cosmic history and to provide important observational diagnostics of structure formation. Stellar streams in the Local Group are spectacular evidence for satellite disruption at the present day. However, constructing a significant sample of tidal streams beyond our immediate cosmic neighborhood has proven a daunting observational challenge and their potential for deepening our understanding of galaxy formation has yet to be realized. Over the last decade, the Stellar Tidal Stream Survey has obtained deep, wide-field images of nearby Milky-Way analog galaxies with a network of robotic amateur telescopes, revealing for the first time an assortment of large-scale tidal structures in their halos. I discuss the main results of this project and future plans for performing dynamical studies of the discovered streams.
Highlights on Spanish Astrophysics X
- Pub Date:
- March 2019
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 9 pages, 4 figures, submitted to Highlights on Spanish Astrophysics X, Proceedings of the XIII Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society, B. Montesinos, A. Asensio Ramos, F. Buitrago, R. Schodel, E. Villaver, S. Perez-Hoyos (eds.), 2019, minor typo in Figure 1 caption corrected