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The shell game: a panoramic view of Fornax

Bate, N.F.; McMonigal, B.; Lewis, G.F.; Irwin, M.J.; Gonzalez-Solares, E.; Shanks, T.; Metcalfe, N.

The shell game: a panoramic view of Fornax Thumbnail


N.F. Bate

B. McMonigal

G.F. Lewis

M.J. Irwin

E. Gonzalez-Solares

T. Shanks


We present a panoramic study of the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy, using data obtained as part of the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) ATLAS Survey. The data presented here – a subset of the full survey – uniformly cover a region of 25 deg2 centred on the galaxy, in g, r and i bands. This large area coverage reveals two key differences to previous studies of Fornax. First, data extending beyond the nominal tidal radius of the dwarf highlight the presence of a second distinct red giant branch population. This bluer red giant branch appears to be co-eval with the horizontal branch population. Secondly, a shell structure located approximately 1 ∘ . .∘ 4 from the centre of Fornax is shown to be a mis-identified background overdensity of galaxies. This last result casts further doubt on the hypothesis that Fornax underwent a gas-rich merger in its relatively recent past.


Bate, N., McMonigal, B., Lewis, G., Irwin, M., Gonzalez-Solares, E., Shanks, T., & Metcalfe, N. (2015). The shell game: a panoramic view of Fornax. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453(1), 690-703.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2015
Publication Date Oct 11, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 18, 2016
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 453
Issue 1
Pages 690-703
Keywords Galaxies: dwarf, Galaxies: individual: Fornax dSph, Local Group, Galaxies: stellar content.


Published Journal Article (6.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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