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NGC 6340

Title: NGC 6340: an old S0 galaxy with a young polar disc. Clues from morphology, internal kinematics and stellar populations
Authors: Igor Chilingarian, Alexandra Novikova, Veronique Cayatte, Francoise Combes, Paola Di Matteo, Anatoly Zasov

Lenticular galaxies are believed to form by a combination of environmental effects and secular evolution. We study the nearby disc-dominated S0 galaxy NGC 6340 photometrically and spectroscopically to understand the mechanisms of S0 formation and evolution in groups. We use SDSS images to build colour maps and light profile of NGC 6340 which we decompose using a three-component model including Sersic and two exponential profiles. We also use Spitzer images to study the morphology of regions containing warm ISM and dust. Then, we re-process and re-analyse deep long-slit spectroscopic data for NGC 6340 and recover its stellar and gas kinematics, distribution of age and metallicity with the NBursts full spectral fitting. We obtain the profiles of internal kinematics, age, and metallicity out to >2 half-light radii. The three structural components of NGC 6340 are found to have distinct kinematical and stellar population properties. We see a kinematical misalignment between inner and outer regions of the galaxy. We confirm the old metal-rich centre and a wrapped inner gaseous polar disc (r~1 kpc) having weak ongoing star formation, counter-rotating in projection with respect to the stars. The central compact pseudo-bulge of NGC 6340 looks very similar to compact elliptical galaxies. In accordance with the results of numerical simulations, we conclude that properties of NGC 6340 can be explained as the result of a major merger of early-type and spiral galaxies which occurred about 12 Gyr ago. The intermediate exponential structure might be a triaxial pseudo-bulge formed by a past bar structure. The inner compact bulge could be the result of a nuclear starburst triggered by the merger. The inner polar disc appeared recently, 1/3-1/2 Gyr ago as a result of another minor merger or cold gas accretion.

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