|Title||Galaxy halos at high spatial resolution: to Andromeda and beyond|
I will present several state-of-the-art panoramic surveys of the outskirts of nearby spiral galaxies (in particular M31, M33, M81 NGC4945, NGC2683 and NGC891) that are being conducted by our group. These new photometric and kinematic data are giving us a uniquely detailed view of the structure and dynamics of the closest giant disk galaxies to the Milky Way. We are now able to study the large scale trends of galactic components and detect a plethora of small sub-structures. I will discuss the consequences of these findings for our understanding of the formation of thick disks and stellar halos.