Probing the History of the Galaxy Assembly of the Counterrotating Disk Galaxy PGC 66551

Ivan Yu Katkov, Damir Gasymov, Alexei Yu Kniazev, Joseph D. Gelfand, Evgenii V. Rubtsov, Igor V. Chilingarian, Olga K. Sil’chenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stellar counterrotation in disk galaxies directly relates to the complex phenomenon of the disk mass assembly believed to be driven by external processes, such as accretion and mergers. The study of such systems makes it possible to reveal the source of external accretion and establish the details of this process. In this paper, we investigate the galaxy PGC 66551 (MaNGA ID 1-179561), which hosts two large-scale counterrotating (CR) stellar disks identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey MaNGA data and then confirmed using deep follow-up spectroscopy with the 10 m Southern African Large Telescope. We measured the properties of ionized gas and stellar populations of both CR disks in PGC 66551. We found that the CR disk is compact, contains young stars with subsolar metallicity, and has a stellar mass of 5 × 109 M , which amounts to ≈20% of the galaxy’s total. Surprisingly, the main 8 Gyr old disk has a significantly lower metallicity of −0.8 dex than other CR galaxies. We developed a simple analytic model of the history of the metal enrichment, which we applied to PGC 66551 and constrained the parameters of the galactic outflow wind, and estimated the metallicity of the infalling gas that formed the CR disk to be −0.9... −0.5 dex. Our interpretation prefers a merger with a gas-rich satellite over cold accretion from a cosmic filament as a source of gas, which then formed the CR disk in PGC 66551.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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