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Looking inside the nest: the hidden structure of the merger galaxy NGC 1316 (Fornax A)




We present an analysis of the circumnuclear structure of NGC 1316 using both near-infrared imaging and stellar kinematics. 2D decomposition of the images suggests the presence of a structure that resembles inner gaseous spiral arms, at about 5–15 arcsec from the centre (≈500 to 1500 pc). We also find a disc-like stellar structure with radius less than 200 pc. Analysis of previously published SINFONI integral field kinematics data indicates a kinematically decoupled core in the same spatial scale, further evidence that indeed the nuclear stellar structure found is a kinematically cold stellar disc. We suggest that both newly found structural components are the result of a recent accretion of a companion galaxy.