A deeper look on thick discs using data from the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G)
Thick discs are disc-like components with a scale height larger than that of the classical discs. They are most easily detected in close to edge-on galaxies in which they appear as a roughly exponential excess of light which appears a few thin disc scale heights above the midplane. Their origin has been considered mysterious until recently and several formation theories have been proposed. Unveiling the origin of thick discs is important for understanding galaxy evolutionary processes.
I will review the results we obtained on thick discs using data from the S4G:
1) Thick discs are ubiquitous.
2) Thick discs are much more massive than previously thought. This advocates for an in situ origin of thick discs at high redshift and for them being a reservoir of missing baryons.
3) The superposition of thin and thick discs with different scale lengths is the reason of at least half of disc antitruncations.