List of stellar streams

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Stellar streams in the Milky Way, discovered in 2007

This is a list of stellar streams. A stellar stream is an association of stars orbiting a galaxy that was once a globular cluster or dwarf galaxy that has now been torn apart and stretched out along its orbit by tidal forces. A notable exception in the list about Milky Way streams given below is the Magellanic Stream, composed of gas (mostly hydrogen).

Local Group streams[edit]

Milky Way streams[edit]

Known streams in the Milky Way[1]
Name Origin Mass
(solar masses)
Composition Discovery year
Arcturus stream Defunct dwarf galaxy Unknown Unknown Old stars deficient in heavy elements 1971[1]
Magellanic Stream Large and Small Magellanic Clouds 200 million 1 million Hydrogen gas 1972
Sagittarius Stream Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy 100 million 1 million Wide variety of stars 1994
Helmi stream Defunct dwarf galaxy 10—100 million Several complete loops around the Milky Way Old stars deficient in heavy elements 1999
Palomar 5 stream Globular cluster Palomar 5 5,000 30,000 Old stars 2001
Virgo stream Defunct dwarf galaxy 30,000 2001
Monoceros ring Canis Major Overdensity 100 million 200,000 Intermediate age stars 2002
Anticenter stream Defunct dwarf galaxy Unknown 30,000 Old stars 2006
GD-1 Globular cluster Metal-poor stars 2006[2]
NGC 5466 stream
45 Degree tidal stream
Globular cluster NGC 5466 10,000 60,000 Very old stars 2006[3][4]
Orphan stream Unknown source (hence its name) Unknown[5] 20,000 Old stars 2006
Acheron stream Globular cluster 2007[3][6]
Boötes III stream Embedded in, and possible progenitor of the Styx stream 2007[3][6]
Cocytus stream Globular cluster 2007[3][6]
Lethe stream Globular cluster 2007[6]
Styx stream Defunct dwarf galaxy (possibly Boötes III) 2007[3][6]
Cetus Polar Stream Defunct dwarf galaxy Unknown Unknown Old stars 2009[7]
Aquarius Stream Defunct dwarf galaxy Unknown 30,000 Old stars 2010
Lamost 1 Disrupted globular cluster 21,000 Intermediate-age stars 2015[8]
Phoenix Stream Disrupted globular cluster Unknown 8,000 Very old stars[9][10] 2016[11]
Fimbulthul stream Globular cluster Omega Centauri 318 2019[12]
Pisces-Eridanus stream disrupted cluster or association 2,000 1,300 very young (~120 Myr) nearby (260 - 870 light-years) stream[13] 2019 [14]
Nyx stream remnant of a disrupted dwarf galaxy — long-ago galaxy merger about 200 stars 2020[15][16]

Andromeda Galaxy streams[edit]

Known streams in the Andromeda Galaxy
Name Origin Mass
(solar masses)
Composition Discovery year
M31 Giant
stellar stream
Andromeda NE
stellar stream[17]
Tidal Stream Northwest (Tidal Stream E and F)[18] 2009
Tidal Stream Southwest[18] 2009

Streams beyond the Local Group[edit]

Other known streams outside the Local Group
Name Location Origin Mass
(solar masses)
Composition Characteristics Discovery year
Young Blue Tidal Stream[19] NGC 5128 A gas fragment or
a dwarf galaxy
NGC 4013[20] former dwarf satellite
with low inclination orbit
large looping structure 2008
NGC 5907[21] low-mass satellite accretion multiple surrounding loops 2009
NGC 4651[22] satellite accretion narrow jet-like structure and surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 3521[22] satellite accretion jet-like structure and surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 7531[22] satellite accretion surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 1084[22] satellite accretion three giant disconnected plumes of similar width 2010
NGC 4216[22] satellite accretion ongoing tidal disruption of satellite galaxies
seen as long tails extending from the progenitor satellite
NGC 1055[22] satellite accretion clear box shaped inner halo sprinkled with a plethora of coherent spikes 2010
NGC 5291 galaxy interaction two separate tidal tails to the north and south ?

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ibata, Rodrigo & Gibson, Brad (April 2007). "The Ghosts of Galaxies Past". Scientific American. 296 (4): 40–45. Bibcode:2007SciAm.296d..40I. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0407-40. PMID 17479629.
  2. ^ Grillmair, C.J. & Dionatos, O. (2 May 2006). "Detection of a 63° cold stellar stream in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey". The Astrophysical Journal. 643 (1): L17–L20. arXiv:astro-ph/0604332. Bibcode:2006ApJ...643L..17G. doi:10.1086/505111. ISSN 0004-637X.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rings around the galaxy". Astronomy. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  4. ^ Grillmair, C. J. & Johnson, R. (8 February 2006). "The Detection of a 45° Tidal Stream Associated with the Globular Cluster NGC 5466". The Astrophysical Journal. 639 (1): L17–L20. arXiv:astro-ph/0602602. Bibcode:2006ApJ...639L..17G. doi:10.1086/501439.
  5. ^ Newberg, Heidi Jo; Willett, Benjamin A.; Yanny, Brian & Xu, Yan (5 February 2010). "The Orbit of the Orphan Stream". The Astrophysical Journal. 711 (1): 32–49. arXiv:1001.0576. Bibcode:2010ApJ...711...32N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/711/1/32.
  6. ^ a b c d e Grillmair, C.J. (5 March 2009). "Four new stellar debris streams in the galactic halo". The Astrophysical Journal. 693 (2): 1118–1127. arXiv:0811.3965. Bibcode:2009ApJ...693.1118G. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/693/2/1118.
  7. ^ Newberg, Heidi Jo; Yanny, Brian & Willett, Benjamin A. (10 July 2009). "Discovery of a new, polar-orbiting debris stream in the Milky Way stellar halo". The Astrophysical Journal. 700 (2): L61–L64. arXiv:0906.3291. Bibcode:2009ApJ...700L..61N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/700/2/L61.
  8. ^ Vickers, John J.; Smith, Martin C.; Hou, Yonghui; Wang, Yuefei & Zhang, Yong (23 December 2015). "LAMOST 1: A disrupted satellite in the constellation Draco". The Astrophysical Journal. 816 (1): L2 (5 pp). arXiv:1512.05090. Bibcode:2016ApJ...816L...2V. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L2.
  9. ^ Wan, Zhen; Lewis, Geraint F.; Li, Ting S.; Simpson, Jeffrey D.; Martell, Sarah L.; Zucker, Daniel B.; et al. (29 July 2020). "The tidal remnant of an unusually metal-poor globular cluster". Nature. 583 (7818): 768–770. arXiv:2007.14577. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2483-6. ISSN 1476-4687.
  10. ^ Wan, J. M. Diederiky (29 July 2020). "Observations of a star system called the Phoenix stellar stream offer the first evidence of vanished star clusters that had extremely low levels of heavy elements. Their remnants might cast light on the early assembly of the Milky Way". News and views / Astronomy and astrophysics. Nature. 583 (7818): 768–770. arXiv:2007.14577. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2483-6. ISSN 1476-4687.
  11. ^ Balbinot, E.; Yanny, B.; Li, T.S.; Santiago, B.; Marshall, J.L.; Finley, D.A.; et al. (March 2016). "The Phoenix Stream: A cold stream in the southern hemisphere". Astrophysical Journal. 820 (1): 58. arXiv:1509.04283. Bibcode:2016ApJ...820...58B. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/820/1/58. ISSN 0004-637X.
  12. ^ Malhan, Khyati (23 April 2019). "Ghostly tributaries to our galaxy: Catastrophic tale of the most massive globular cluster of the Milky Way". Nature Research Astronomy Community. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  13. ^ Curtis, Jason L.; Agüeros, Marcel A.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Wright, Jason T. & Cummings, Jeffrey D. (August 2019). "TESS reveals that the nearby Pisces-Eridanus stellar stream is only 120 Myr old". The Astrophysical Journal. 158 (2): 77. arXiv:1905.10588. Bibcode:2019AJ....158...77C. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab2899. ISSN 0004-6256.
  14. ^ Meingast, Stefan; Alves, João & Fürnkranz, Verena (February 2019). "Extended stellar systems in the solar neighborhood. II. Discovery of a nearby 120° stellar stream in Gaia DR2". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 622: L13. arXiv:1901.06387. Bibcode:2019A&A...622L..13M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201834950. ISSN 0004-6361.
  15. ^ "Nyx: Stellar stream of stars discovered in Milky Way that originated in another galaxy". ScitechDaily. 8 July 2020.
  16. ^ Necib, L.; Ostdiek, B.; Lisanti, M.; et al. (6 July 2020). "Evidence for a vast prograde stellar stream in the solar vicinity". Nature Astronomy. doi:10.1038/s41550-020-1131-2.
  17. ^ Zucker, Daniel B.; Kniazev, Alexei Y.; Bell, Eric F.; Martinez-Delgado, David; Grebel, Eva K.; Rix, Hans-Walter; et al. (10 August 2004). "A New Giant Stellar Structure in the Outer Halo of M31". The Astrophysical Journal. 612 (2): L117–L120. arXiv:astro-ph/0401098. Bibcode:2004ApJ...612L.117Z. doi:10.1086/424706.
  18. ^ a b "New tidal streams found in Andromeda reveal history of galactic mergers". Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  19. ^ Peng, Eric W.; Ford, Holland C.; Freeman, Kenneth C.; White, Richard L. (December 2002). "A Young Blue Tidal Stream in NGC 5128". The Astronomical Journal. 124 (6): 3144–3156. arXiv:astro-ph/0208422. Bibcode:2002AJ....124.3144P. doi:10.1086/344308.
  20. ^ Martinez-Delgado, David; Pohlen, Michael; Gabany, R. Jay; Majewski, Steven R.; Penarrubia, Jorge; Palma, Chris (23 February 2009). "Discovery of a Giant Stellar Tidal Stream Around the Disk Galaxy NGC 4013". The Astrophysical Journal. 692 (2): 955–963. arXiv:0801.4657. Bibcode:2009ApJ...692..955M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/692/2/955.
  21. ^ Martinez-Delgado, David; Penarrubia, Jorge; Gabany, R. Jay; Trujillo, Ignacio; Majewski, Steven R.; Pohlen, Michael (10 December 2008). "The Ghost of a Dwarf Galaxy: Fossils of the Hierarchical Formation of the Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 5907". The Astrophysical Journal. 689 (1): 184–193. arXiv:0805.1137. Bibcode:2008ApJ...689..184M. doi:10.1086/592555.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Martinez-Delgado, David; Gabany, R. Jay; Crawford, Ken; Zibetti, Stefano; Majewski, Steven R.; Rix, Hans-Walter; Fliri, Jurgen; Carballo-Bello, Julio A.; Bardalez-Gagliuffi, Daniella C.; Penarrubia, Jorge; Chonis, Taylor S.; Madore, Barry; Trujillo, Ignacio; Schirmer, Mischa; McDavid, David A. (7 September 2010). "Stellar Tidal Streams in Spiral Galaxies of the Local Volume: A Pilot Survey with Modest Aperture Telescopes". The Astronomical Journal. 140 (4): 962–967. arXiv:1003.4860. Bibcode:2010AJ....140..962M. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/4/962.

External links[edit]