A Second Shell in the Fornax dSph Galaxy


In the search for tidal structure in Galactic satellite systems, we have conducted a photometric survey over a 10 square degree area centred on the Fornax dSph galaxy. The survey was made in two colours, and the resulting colour-magnitude data were used as a mask to select candidate Fornax RGB stars, thereby increasing the contrast of Fornax stars to background sources in the outer regions. Previously, we reported the presence of a shell (age 2 Gyr) located towards the centre of Fornax. In this contribution we reveal a second shell, significantly larger than the first, located 1.3 degrees NW from the centre of Fornax, outside the nominal tidal radius. Moreover, the distribution of Fornax RGB stars reveals two lobes extending to the spatial limit of our survey, and aligned with the minor axis and with the two shells. These results support the hypothesis of a merger between Fornax and a gas-rich companion approximately 2 Gyr ago.Comment: Four pages,accepted for the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. Contribution the annual ASA meeting, Brisbane 200

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