Dwarf galaxies also have stellar halos

Dante Minniti, Albert A. Zijlstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


We present evidence for the existence of an old stellar halo in the dwarf irregular galaxy WLM, an isolated member of the Local Group. The halo consists of Population II stars, with low metallicities and age ≥1010 yr. The finding of a halo in a dwarf irregular galaxy argues for a generic mode of galaxy formation that requires a halo in the presence of a disk, regardless of galaxy size. This implies that formation mechanisms are similar along the spiral Hubble sequence, and favors the scenarios where the formation takes place during the original collapse and accretion of the protogalactic gas clouds. Halo formation also appears not necessarily to be related to the presence of a bulge, or a nucleus, since WLM lacks both of these components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L13-L16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART II
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Galaxies: halos
  • Galaxies: individual (WLM [DDO 221], A2359-1544, UGC A444)
  • Galaxies: irregular
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Galaxy: formation
  • Local Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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