Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
New interface
Journal articles

Deep imaging of the shell elliptical galaxy NGC 3923 with MegaCam

Abstract : Context. The elliptical galaxy NGC 3923 is known to be surrounded by a number of stellar shells, probable remnants of an accreted galaxy. Despite its uniqueness, the deepest images of its outskirts come from the 1980s. On the basis of the modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), it has recently been predicted that a new shell lies in this region.
Aims: We obtain the deepest image ever of the galaxy, map the tidal features in it, and search for the predicted shell.
Methods: The image of the galaxy was taken by the MegaCam camera at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in the g'-band. It reached the surface-brightness limit of 29 mag arcsec-2. In addition, we reanalyzed an archival HST image of the galaxy.
Results: We detected up to 42 shells in NGC 3923. This is by far the highest number among all shell galaxies. We present the description of the shells and other tidal features in the galaxy. A probable progenitor of some of these features was discovered. The shell system likely originates from two or more progenitors. The predicted shell was not detected, but the new image revealed that the prediction was based on incorrect assumptions and poor data.

The reduced images (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:34:15 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 3:22:50 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, November 6, 2022 - 6:15:00 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive



M. Bílek, J. -C. Cuillandre, S. Gwyn, I. Ebrová, K. Bartošková, et al.. Deep imaging of the shell elliptical galaxy NGC 3923 with MegaCam. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2016, 588, pp.A77. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201526608⟩. ⟨insu-03746222⟩



Record views


Files downloads