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Using 3.6-μm data from 2112 galaxies, we show that, contrary to widely held expectations of a continuous steep decline, radial surface brightness profiles of galaxies tend to flatten and form extended plateaus beyond 27–28 magAB/arcsec². This phenomenon could be explained by the presence of extended stellar populations dominated by low-mass stars in galactic outskirts. The flattening of radial brightness profiles questions the artificial exponential extrapolations of brightness data and thedoi:10.3390/galaxies8020048 fatcat:rmz4ousicfdiblpaczyq52px54