The Peripheries of Nearby Galaxies: Dim but not Dull
Evidence is mounting for the presence of complex low surface brightness structures in the outer regions of galaxies. While the most spectacular examples are provided by systems hosting coherent debris streams, the most common examples may be extremely diffuse stellar envelopes. Wide-field imagers on large telescopes are allowing us to quantitatively explore the resolved stellar populations in these components within and well beyond the Local Group. I will highlight some recent results from our work and discuss the insight these outer structures provide on understanding massive galaxy assembly. I will also discuss how we are using deep HST studies of M31's outer regions to probe its evolutionary history in unprecedented detail.
About the talk
Royal Astronomical Observatory of Edinburgh, UK