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PGC 42102
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A new look at Malin 1 the largest known disk galaxy

In a publication recently accepted in Astronomy and Astrophysics, an international team involving French researchers from the Laboratoire dAstrophysique de Marseille and Canadian researchers from NRC Herzberg and Queens University have studied Malin 1, a nearby galaxy that has been known only since the eighty's and that shows an extremely large disk of gas and stars. The new observations of Malin 1, a prototype of the class of "giant low surface brightness galaxies" allowed the team to obtain new results in contradiction with one of the hypotheses concerning the formation of this type of galaxies.
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Title: Malin 1: interacting galaxy pair?
Authors: V.P. Reshetnikov, A.V. Moiseev, N.Ya. Sotnikova

Malin 1 is a unique, extraordinarily large low surface brightness galaxy. The structure and the origins of the galaxy are poorly understood. The reason for such a situation is an absence of detailed observational data, especially, of high-resolution kinematics. In this Letter we study the stellar kinematics of the inner part (r < 15 kpc) of Malin 1. We present spectroscopic arguments in favour of a small galaxy - Malin 1B - being a companion probably interacting with the main galaxy - Malin 1. This object is clearly seen in many published images of Malin 1 but is not mentioned in any astronomical databases. Malin 1B is located at the projected distance of 14 kpc from the Malin 1's nucleus and has small - 65▒16 km/s - relative velocity, which we determined for the first time. We suggest that ongoing interaction with Malin 1B can explain main morphological features of the Malin 1's central region - two-armed spiral structure, a bar, and an external one-armed spiral pattern. We also investigated the large scale environment of Malin 1 and postulate that the galaxy SDSS J123708.91+142253.2 might be responsible for the formation of extended low-surface brightness envelope by means of head-on collision with Malin 1 (in the framework of collision scenario proposed by Mapelli et al. 2008). To test the collisional origins of Malin 1 global structure, more observational data and new numerical models are needed.

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Malin 1.kmz
Google Sky File

-- Edited by Blobrana at 15:38, 2008-01-12

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áMalin 1, the prototypical giant low surface brightness galaxy, harbours a normal disk of stars, says an astronomer in California. A Hubble image reveals a barred spiral galaxy at Malin 1's centre. As a result, Malin 1 may no longer be classified as a low surface brightness galaxy.

Discovered in 1986, Malin 1 is the largest spiral galaxy in the universe. Its spiral disk is 650,000 light-years across--several times bigger than the Milky Way's--but the stars are so spread out from one another that the disk looks extremely diffuse, having what astronomers call a low surface brightness.
Before Malin 1's discovery, all known galaxies with low surface brightnesses were small. They included the Sculptor and Fornax dwarfs that orbit the Milky Way. Malin 1 was the first giant low surface brightness galaxy found. Despite its diffuse light, Malin 1 emits eight times more light than the entire Milky Way, which is itself a giant galaxy. Furthermore, Malin 1 abounds with gas, containing 50 billion solar masses of atomic hydrogen gas--more than ten times the amount in the Milky Way.
Now Aaron Barth of the University of California at Irvine has accidentally discovered something surprisingly ordinary about this extraordinary galaxy.

"I happened to find an image of this galaxy sitting in the Hubble archives. In the Hubble image, you can see that the galaxy has a relatively bright, normal-size, normal-brightness stellar disk that just wasn't seen in the previous ground-based data."

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