A tale of two tails and an off-centered envelope: diffuse light around the cD galaxy NGC 3311 in the Hydra I cluster

Arnaboldi  M.,  Ventimiglia  G.,  Iodice  E.,  Gerhard  O.,  Coccato  L.,  2012, A&A, 545, A37 (to the paper)

The formation of intracluster light and of the extended halos around brightest cluster galaxies is closely related to morphological transformation, tidal stripping, and disruption of galaxies in clusters. We analyze Ks- and V-band surface photometry as well as deep long-slit spectra, and establish a link between the structures in the light distribution, the absorption line kinematics, and the LOS velocity distributions of nearby galaxies and planetary nebulae (PNs). The central galaxy NGC 3311 is surrounded by an extended symmetric outer halo with n=10 and an additional, off-centered envelope ~ 50" to the North-East. Its luminosity L_V= 1.2x10^{10} +/- 6.0 x 10^8 L_sun corresponds to ~50 % of the luminosity of the symmetric halo in the same region. Based on measured PN velocities, at least part of the off-centered envelope consists of high-velocity accreted stars. We have also discovered two tidal streams in the cluster center, emerging from the dwarf galaxy HCC 026 and from the S0 galaxy HCC 007. The HCC 026 stream is redshifted by ~1200 km/s with respect to NGC 3311, similarly as HCC 026 itself, a fraction of PNs in the off-centered envelope, and several other dwarf galaxies nearby. The stars in one of the HCC 026 tails are known to be consistent with the low-metallicity population of HCC 026, and our photometry shows that this galaxy is already mostly dissolved in the tidal field. The tidal stream around HCC 007 extends over at least 110 kpc. It is fairly thick and is brighter on the side of the asymmetric outer halo of NGC 3311, which it may join. Its luminosity is several 10^9 L_sun, similar to the luminosity of the stripped-down galaxy HCC 007. The redshift of the stream is determined from a few PN velocities and is similar to that for HCC 007 and HCC 026.

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