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|Title:||VEGAS: A VST Early-type GAlaxy Survey. I. Presentation, wide-field surface photometry, and substructures in NGC 4472||Authors:||CAPACCIOLI, Massimo
NAPOLITANO, NICOLA ROSARIO
Romanowsky, Aaron J.
Forbes, Duncan A.
Puzia, Thomas H.
|Issue Date:||2015||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||581||First Page:||A10||Abstract:||Context. We present the VST Early-type GAlaxy Survey (VEGAS), which is designed to obtain deep multiband photometry in g,r,i, of about one hundred nearby galaxies down to 27.3, 26.8, and 26 mag/arcsec<SUP>2</SUP> respectively, using the ESO facility VST/OmegaCAM. <BR /> Aims: The goals of the survey are 1) to map the light distribution up to ten effective radii, r<SUB>e</SUB>; 2) to trace color gradients and surface brightness fluctuation gradients out to a few r<SUB>e</SUB> for stellar population characterization; and 3) to obtain a full census of the satellite systems (globular clusters and dwarf galaxies) out to 20% of the galaxy virial radius. The external regions of galaxies retain signatures of the formation and evolution mechanisms that shaped them, and the study of nearby objects enables a detailed analysis of their morphology and interaction features. To clarify the complex variety of formation mechanisms of early-type galaxies (ETGs), wide and deep photometry is the primary observational step, which at the moment has been pursued with only a few dedicated programs. The VEGAS survey has been designated to provide these data for a volume-limited sample with exceptional image quality. <BR /> Methods: In this commissioning photometric paper we illustrate the capabilities of the survey using g- and i-band VST/OmegaCAM images of the nearby galaxy NGC 4472 and of smaller ETGs in the surrounding field. <BR /> Results: Our surface brightness profiles reach rather faint levels and agree excellently well with previous literature. Genuine new results concern the detection of an intracluster light tail in NGC 4472 and of various substructures at increasing scales. We have also produced extended (g - i) color profiles. <BR /> Conclusions: The VST/OmegaCAM data that we acquire in the context of the VEGAS survey provide a detailed view of substructures in the optical emission from extended galaxies, which can be as faint as a hundred times below the sky level. <P />Appendices are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201526252/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A>||Acknowledgments:||The optical imaging is collected at the ESO VLT Survey Telescope on Cerro Paranal under program ID 090.B-0414(D) and 091.B-0614(A), using the Italian INAF Guaranteed Time Observations. The data reduction for this work was carried out with the computational infrastructures of the INAF-VST Center at Naples (VSTceN). The authors wish to thank L. Ferrarese, C. Mihos, and S. Janowiecki for the data provided, C. Tortora for illuminating discussion on colors, and R. Peletier for the ongoing discussion on the best way to remove the sky background. This research made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and has been partly supported by the PRIN-INAF “Galaxy evolution with the VLT Survey Telescope (VST)” (PI A. Grado). M. Cantiello acknowledges support from Progetto FSE Abruzzo “Sapere e Crescita”.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/23150||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/09/aa26252-15/aa26252-15.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201526252||Bibcode ADS:||2015A&A...581A..10C||Fulltext:||open|
|Appears in Collections:||1.01 Articoli in rivista|
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