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 (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]
Fimbulthul stream Globular cluster Omega Centauri 318 2019[9]

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[10]
Tidal Stream Northwest (Tidal Stream E and F)[11] 2009
Tidal Stream Southwest[11] 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[12] NGC 5128 A gas fragment or
a dwarf galaxy
NGC 4013[13] former dwarf satellite
with low inclination orbit
large looping structure 2008
NGC 5907[14] low-mass satellite accretion multiple surrounding loops 2009
NGC 4651[15] satellite accretion narrow jet-like structure and surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 3521[15] satellite accretion jet-like structure and surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 7531[15] satellite accretion surrounding debris shell 2010
NGC 1084[15] satellite accretion three giant disconnected plumes of similar width 2010
NGC 4216[15] satellite accretion ongoing tidal disruption of satellite galaxies
seen as long tails extending from the progenitor satellite
NGC 1055[15] 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. 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. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Zucker, Daniel B.; Kniazev, Alexei Y.; Bell, Eric F.; Martinez-Delgado, David; Grebel, Eva K.; Rix, Hans-Walter; Rockosi, Constance M.; Holtzman, Jon A.; Walterbos, Rene A. M.; Ivezic, Zeljko; Brinkmann, J.; Brewington, Howard; Harvanek, Michael; Kleinman, S. J.; Krzesinski, Jurek; Lamb, Don Q.; Long, Dan; Newman, Peter R.; Nitta, Atsuko; Snedden, Stephanie A. (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. doi:10.1086/424706.
  11. ^ a b "New tidal streams found in Andromeda reveal history of galactic mergers". Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  12. ^ 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. doi:10.1086/344308.
  13. ^ 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. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/692/2/955.
  14. ^ 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. doi:10.1086/592555.
  15. ^ 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. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/140/4/962.

External links[edit]