Kinematics and stellar populations in the outer halos of early type galaxies
Stellar halos of galaxies offer an important laboratory to understand the galaxies’ formation process and evolution. In fact, the dynamic time scale in the halos are large, and the imprint of the formation mechanisms may still be preserved at large radii in the kinematics, in the orbital structure, in streams and substructures, or in the chemical composition and distribution of stars.
I will discuss i) the kinematic and dynamical properties of stellar halos in early type galaxies as derived from tracers like planetary nebulae and globular clusters; and ii) the stellar population properties as derived from deep long-slit spectra in a number of massive ellipticals. Results are then discussed in the framework of galaxy halo formation mechanisms.