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|Title:||VEGAS-SSS. A VST early-type galaxy survey: analysis of small stellar systems. Testing the methodology on the globular cluster system in NGC 3115||Authors:||CANTIELLO, Michele
NAPOLITANO, NICOLA ROSARIO
Romanowsky, Aaron J.
Forbes, Duncan A.
LA BARBERA, Francesco
Puzia, Thomas H.
|Issue Date:||2015||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||576||First Page:||A14||Abstract:||We present a study of globular clusters (GCs) and other small stellar systems (SSSs) in the field of NGC 3115, observed as part of the ongoing wide-field imaging survey VEGAS, carried out with the 2.6 m VST telescope. We used deep g and i observations of NGC 3115, a well-studied lenticular galaxy that is covered excellently well in the scientific literature. This is fundamental to test the methodologies, verify the results, and probe the capabilities of the VEGAS-SSS. Leveraging the large field of view of the VST allowed us to accurately study the distribution and properties of SSSs as a function of galactocentric distance, well beyond ~20 galaxy effective radii, in a way that is rarely possible. Our analysis of colors, magnitudes, and sizes of SSS candidates confirms the results from existing studies, some of which were carried out with 8-10 m class telescopes, and further extends them to previously unreached galactocentric distances with similar accuracy. In particular, we find a color bimodality for the GC population and a de Vaucouleurs r<SUP>1/4</SUP> profile for the surface density of GCs similar to the galaxy light profile. The radial color gradient of blue and red GCs previously found, for instance, by the SLUGGS survey with Subaru and Keck data, is further extended out to the largest galactocentric radii inspected, ~65 kpc. In addition, the surface density profiles of blue and red GCs taken separately are well approximated by a r<SUP>1/4</SUP> density profile, with the fraction of blue GCs being slightly larger at larger radii. We do not find hints of a trend for the red GC subpopulation and for the GC turnover magnitude to vary with radius, but we observe a ~0.2 mag difference in the turnover magnitude of the blue and red GC subpopulations. Finally, from inspecting SSS sizes and colors, we obtain a list of ultracompact dwarf galaxies and GC candidates suitable for future spectroscopic follow-up. In conclusion, our study shows i) the reliability of the methodologies developed to study SSSs in the field of bright early-type galaxies; and ii) the great potential of the VEGAS survey to produce original results on SSSs science, mainly thanks to the wide-field imaging adopted. Full Table 3 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to "http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr" (ftp://220.127.116.11) or via "http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/576/A14"||Acknowledgments:||The optical imaging is collected at the VLT Survey Telescope using the Italian INAF Guaranteed Time Observations. The data reduction for this work was carried out with the computational infrastructures of the VST Center at Naples (VSTceN). We gratefully acknowledge INAF for financial support to the VSTceN. Part of this work was supported by PRIN-INAF 2011 (P.I.: G. Marconi), FIRB-MIUR 2008 (P.I.: G. Imbriani), PRIN-INAF 2011 (P.I.: A. Grado). M.P. acknowledges finical support from project FARO 2011 from the University of Naples Federico II. D.A.F. thanks the ARC for financial support via DP130100388. We are grateful to John P. Blakeslee and Zach Jennings for useful discussions related to this work. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Data-base (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research has also made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France, and of the HyperLeda database ( http://leda.univ-lyon1.fr ).||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/23906||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/04/aa25165-14/aa25165-14.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201425165||Bibcode ADS:||2015A&A...576A..14C||Fulltext:||open|
|Appears in Collections:||1.01 Articoli in rivista|
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