Julianne J. Dalcanton

The Astronomical Observatory of Brera, Merate, Lombardy, Italy

Are you Julianne J. Dalcanton?

Claim your profile

Publications (290)1030.78 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The duration of a starburst is a fundamental parameter affecting the evolution of galaxies yet, to date, observational constraints on the durations of starbursts are not well established. Here we study the recent star formation histories of three nearby dwarf galaxies to rigorously quantify the duration of their starburst events using a uniform and consistent approach. We find that the bursts range from ∼200 to ∼400 Myr in duration resolving the tension between the shorter timescales often derived observationally with the longer timescales derived from dynamical arguments. If these three starbursts are typical of starbursts in dwarf galaxies, then the short timescales (3–10 Myr) associated with starbursts in previous studies are best understood as "flickering" events which are simply small components of the larger starburst. In this sample of three nearby dwarfs, the bursts are not localized events. All three systems show bursting levels of star formation in regions of both high and low stellar density. The enhanced star formation moves around the galaxy during the bursts and covers a large fraction of the area of the galaxy. These massive, long-duration bursts can significantly affect the structure, dynamics, and chemical evolution of the host galaxy and can be the progenitors of "superwinds" that drive much of the recently chemically enriched material from the galaxy into the intergalactic medium.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2015; 695:561-573. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The [CII] 158 micron line is one of the strongest emission lines observed in star-forming galaxies, and has been empirically measured to correlate with the star formation rate (SFR) globally and on ~kpc scales. However, due to the multi-phase origins of [CII], one might expect this relation to break down at small scales. We investigate the origins of [CII] emission by examining high spatial resolution observations of [CII] in M31, with the Survey of Lines in M31 (SLIM). We present five ~700x700 pc (3"x3") Fields mapping the [CII] emission, Halpha emission, combined with ancillary infrared (IR) data. We spatially separate star-forming regions from diffuse gas and dust emission on ~50 pc scales. We find that the [CII] - SFR correlation holds even at these scales, although the relation typically has a flatter slope than found at larger (~kpc) scales. While the Halpha emission in M31 is concentrated in the SFR regions, we find that a significant amount (~20-90%) of the [CII] emission comes from outside star-forming regions, and that the total IR (TIR) emission has the highest diffuse fraction of all SFR tracers. We find a weak correlation of the [CII]/TIR to dust color in each Field, and find a large scale trend of increasing [CII]/TIR with galactocentric radius. The differences in the relative diffuse fractions of [CII], Halpha and IR tracers are likely caused by a combination of energetic photon leakage from HII regions and heating by the diffuse radiation field arising from older (B-star) stellar populations. However, we find that by averaging our measurements over ~kpc scales, these effects are minimized, and the relation between [CII] and SFR found in other nearby galaxy studies is retrieved.
    10/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our proximity and external vantage point make M31 an ideal testbed for understanding the structure of spiral galaxies. The Andromeda Optical and Infrared Disk Survey (ANDROIDS) has mapped M31's bulge and disk out to R=40 kpc in $ugriJK_s$ bands with CFHT using a careful sky calibration. We use Bayesian modelling of the optical-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) to estimate profiles of M31's stellar populations and mass along the major axis. This analysis provides evidence for inside-out disk formation and a declining metallicity gradient. M31's $i$-band mass-to-light ratio ($M/L_i^*$) decreases from 0.5 dex in the bulge to $\sim 0.2$ dex at 40 kpc. The best-constrained stellar population models use the full $ugriJK_s$ SED but are also consistent with optical-only fits. Therefore, while NIR data can be successfully modelled with modern stellar population synthesis, NIR data do not provide additional constraints in this application. Fits to the $gi$-SED alone yield $M/L_i^*$ that are systematically lower than the full SED fit by 0.1 dex. This is still smaller than the 0.3 dex scatter amongst different relations for $M/L_i$ via $g-i$ colour found in the literature. We advocate a stellar mass of $M_*(30\mathrm{kpc})=10.3^{+2.3}_{-1.7}\times 10^{10}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ for the M31 bulge and disk.
    09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry to measure star formation histories, we age-date the stellar populations surrounding supernova remnants (SNRs) in M31 and M33. We then apply stellar evolution models to the ages to infer the corresponding masses for their supernova progenitor stars. We analyze 33 M33 SNR progenitors and 29 M31 SNR progenitors in this work. We then combine these measurements with 53 previously published M31 SNR progenitor measurements to bring our total number of progenitor mass estimates to 115. To quantify the mass distributions, we fit power laws of the form $dN/dM \propto M^{-\alpha}$. Our new, larger sample of M31 progenitors follows a distribution with $\alpha = 4.4\pm 0.4$, and the M33 sample follows a distribution with $\alpha = 3.8^{+0.4}_{-0.5}$. Thus both samples are consistent within the uncertainties, and the full sample across both galaxies gives $\alpha = 4.2\pm 0.3$. Both the individual and full distributions display a paucity of massive stars when compared to a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF), which we would expect to observe if all massive stars exploded as SN that leave behind observable SNR. If we instead fix $\alpha = 2.35$ and treat the maximum mass as a free parameter, we find $M_{max} \sim 35-45M_{sun}$, indicative of a potential maximum cutoff mass for SN production. Our results suggest that either SNR surveys are biased against finding objects in the youngest (<10 Myr old) regions, or the highest mass stars do not produce SNe.
    09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have measured stellar photometry with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in near ultraviolet (F275W, F336W), optical (F475W, F814W), and near infrared (F110W, F160W) bands for 117 million resolved stars in M31. As part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey, we measured photometry with simultaneous point spread function fitting across all bands and at all source positions after precise astrometric image alignment (<5-10 milliarcsecond accuracy). In the outer disk, the photometry reaches a completeness-limited depth of F475W~28, while in the crowded, high surface brightness bulge, the photometry reaches F475W~25. We find that simultaneous photometry and optimized measurement parameters significantly increase the detection limit of the lowest resolution filters (WFC3/IR) providing color-magnitude diagrams that are up to 2.5 magnitudes deeper when compared with color-magnitude diagrams from WFC3/IR photometry alone. We present extensive analysis of the data quality including comparisons of luminosity functions and repeat measurements, and we use artificial star tests to quantify photometric completeness, uncertainties and biases. We find that largest sources of systematic error in the photometry are due to spatial variations in the point spread function models and charge transfer efficiency corrections. This stellar catalog is the largest ever produced for equidistant sources, and is publicly available for download by the community.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 09/2014; 215(1). · 16.24 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We search Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) broadband imaging data from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey to identify detections of cataloged planetary nebulae (PNe). Of the 711 PNe currently in the literature within the PHAT footprint, we find 467 detected in the broadband. For these 467 we are able to refine their astrometric accuracy from ~0."3 to 0."05. Using the resolution of HST, we are able to show that 152 objects currently in the catalogs are definitively not PNe, and we show that 32 objects thought to be extended in ground-based images are actually point-like and therefore good PN candidates. We also find one PN candidate that is marginally resolved. If this is a PN, it is up to 0.7 pc in diameter. With our new photometric data, we develop a method of measuring the level of excitation in individual PNe by comparing broadband and narrowband imaging and describe the effects of excitation on a PN's photometric signature. Using the photometric properties of the known PNe in the PHAT catalogs, we search for more PN, but do not find any new candidates, suggesting that ground-based emission-line surveys are complete in the PHAT footprint to F475W $\simeq$ 24.
    07/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigate the clustering of early-type stars younger than 300 Myr on galactic scales in M31. Based on the stellar photometric catalogs of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury program that also provides stellar parameters derived from the individual energy distributions, our analysis is focused on the young stars in three star-forming regions, located at galactocentric distances of about 5, 10, and 15 kpc, corresponding to the inner spiral arms, the ring structure, and the outer arm, respectively. We apply the two-point correlation function to our selected sample to investigate the clustering behavior of these stars across different time- and length-scales. We find that young stellar structure survives across the whole extent of M31 longer than 300 Myr. Stellar distribution in all regions appears to be self-similar, with younger stars being systematically more strongly clustered than the older, which are more dispersed. The observed clustering is interpreted as being induced by turbulence, the driving source for which is probably gravitational instabilities driven by the spiral arms, which are stronger closer to the galactic centre.
    07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present results from new near-infrared (NIR) imaging from the Spitzer Space Telescope that trace the low surface brightness features of the outer disk and stellar stream in the nearby spiral galaxy, M83. Previous observations have shown that M83 hosts a faint stellar stream to the northwest and a star-forming disk that extends to ~3 times the optical radius (R 25). By combining the NIR imaging with archival far-ultraviolet (FUV) and H I imaging, we study the star formation history of the system. The NIR surface brightness profile has a break at ~5.'8 (equivalent to 8.1 kpc and 0.9 R 25) with a shallower slope beyond this radius, which may result from the recent accretion of gas onto the outer disk and subsequent star formation. Additionally, the ratio of FUV to NIR flux increases with increasing radius in several arms throughout the extended star forming disk, indicating an increase in the ratio of the present to past star formation rate with increasing radius. This sort of inside-out disk formation is consistent with observations of gas infall onto the outer disk of M83. Finally, the flux, size, and shape of the stellar stream are measured and the origin of the stream is explored. The stream has a total NIR flux of 11.6 mJy, which implies a stellar mass of 1 × 108M ☉ in an area subtending ~80°. No FUV emission is detected in the stream at a level greater than the noise, confirming an intermediate-age or old stellar population in the stream.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 789(2):126. · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The evolution and lifetimes of thermally pulsating asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) stars suffer from significant uncertainties. In this work, we analyze the numbers and luminosity functions of TP-AGB stars in six quiescent, low metallicity ([Fe/H] $\lesssim -0.86$) galaxies taken from the ANGST sample, using HST photometry in both optical and near-infrared filters. The galaxies contain over 1000 TP-AGB stars (at least 60 per field). We compare the observed TP-AGB luminosity functions and relative numbers of TP-AGB and RGB stars, to models generated from different suites of TP-AGB evolutionary tracks after adopting star formation histories (SFH) derived from the HST deep optical observations. We test various mass-loss prescriptions that differ in their treatments of mass-loss before the onset of dust-driven winds (pre-dust). These comparisons confirm that pre-dust mass-loss is important, since models that neglect pre-dust mass-loss fail to explain the observed TP-AGB/RGB ratio or the luminosity functions. In contrast, models with more efficient pre-dust mass-loss produce results consistent with observations. We find that for [Fe/H]$\lesssim-0.86$, lower mass TP-AGB stars ($M\lesssim1M_\odot$) must have lifetimes of $\sim0.5$ Myr and higher masses ($M\lesssim 3M_\odot$) must have lifetimes $\lesssim 1.2$ Myr. In addition, assuming our best-fitting mass-loss prescription, we show that the third dredge up has no significant effect on TP-AGB lifetimes in this mass and metallicity range.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 790(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using resolved stellar photometry measured from archival HST imaging, we generate color-magnitude diagrams of the stars within 50 pc of the locations of historic core-collapse supernovae that took place in galaxies within 8 Mpc. We fit these color-magnitude distributions with stellar evolution models to determine the best-fit age distribution of the young population. We then translate these age distributions into probability distributions for the progenitor mass of each SNe. The measurements are anchored by the main-sequence stars surrounding the event, making them less sensitive to assumptions about binarity, post-main-sequence evolution, or circumstellar dust. We demonstrate that, in cases where the literature contains masses that have been measured from direct imaging, our measurements are consistent with (but less precise than) these measurements. Using this technique, we constrain the progenitor masses of 17 historic SNe, 11 of which have no previous estimates from direct imaging. Our measurements still allow the possibility that all SNe progenitor masses are <20 M_sun. However, the large uncertainties for the highest-mass progenitors also allow the possibility of no upper-mass cutoff.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2014; 791(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We search for signatures of reionization in the star formation histories (SFHs) of 38 Local Group dwarf galaxies (10$^4$ $<$ M$_{\star}$ $<$ 10$^9$ M$_{\odot}$). The SFHs are derived from color-magnitude diagrams using archival Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 imaging. Only five quenched galaxies (And V, And VI, And XIII, Leo IV, Hercules) are consistent with forming the bulk of their stars before reionization, when full uncertainties are considered. Observations of 13 of the predicted `true fossils' identified by Bovill & Ricotti show that only two (Hercules and Leo IV) indicate star formation quenched by reionization. However, both are within the virial radius of the Milky Way and evidence of tidal disturbance complicates this interpretation. We argue that the late-time gas capture scenario posited by Ricotti for the low mass, gas-rich, and star-forming fossil candidate Leo T is observationally indistinguishable from simple gas retention. Given the ambiguity between environmental effects and reionization, the best reionization fossil candidates are quenched low mass field galaxies (e.g., KKR 25).
    05/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We search for signatures of reionization in the star formation histories (SFHs) of 38 Local Group dwarf galaxies (10$^4$ $<$ M$_{\star}$ $<$ 10$^9$ M$_{\odot}$). The SFHs are derived from color-magnitude diagrams using archival Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 imaging. Only five quenched galaxies (And V, And VI, And XIII, Leo IV, Hercules) are consistent with forming the bulk of their stars before reionization, when full uncertainties are considered. Observations of 13 of the predicted `true fossils' identified by Bovill & Ricotti show that only two (Hercules and Leo IV) indicate star formation quenched by reionization. However, both are within the virial radius of the Milky Way and evidence of tidal disturbance complicates this interpretation. We argue that the late-time gas capture scenario posited by Ricotti for the low mass, gas-rich, and star-forming fossil candidate Leo T is observationally indistinguishable from simple gas retention. Given the ambiguity between environmental effects and reionization, the best reionization fossil candidates are quenched low mass field galaxies (e.g., KKR 25).
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 789(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present uniformly measured star formation histories (SFHs) of 40 Local Group dwarf galaxies based on color-magnitude diagram (CMD) analysis from archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging. We demonstrate that accurate SFHs can be recovered from CMDs that do not reach the oldest main sequence turn-off (MSTO), but emphasize that the oldest MSTO is critical for precisely constraining the earliest epochs of star formation. We find that: (1) the average lifetime SFHs of dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) can be approximated by an exponentially declining SFH with $\tau$ $\sim$ 5 Gyr; (2) lower luminosity dSphs are less likely to have extended SFHs than more luminous dSphs; (3) the average SFHs of dwarf irregulars (dIrrs), transition dwarfs (dTrans), and dwarf ellipticals (dEs) can be approximated by the combination of an exponentially declining SFH ($\tau$ $\sim$ 3-4 Gyr) for lookback ages $>$ 10-12 Gyr ago and a constant SFH thereafter; (4) the observed fraction of stellar mass formed prior to z=2 ranges considerably (80\% for galaxies with M $<$ 10$^5$ M$_{\odot}$ to 30\% for galaxies with M$>$10$^7$ M$_{\odot}$) and is largely explained by environment; (5) the distinction between "ultra-faint" and "classical" dSphs is arbitrary; (6) LG dIrrs formed a significantly higher fraction of stellar mass prior to z=2 than the SDSS galaxies from Leiter 2012 and the SFHs from the abundance matching models of Behroozi et al. 2013. This may indicate higher than expected star-formation efficiencies at early times in low mass galaxies. Finally, we provide all the SFHs in tabulated electronic format for use by the community.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2014; 789(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have used optical observations of resolved stars from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) to measure the recent (< 500 Myr) star formation histories (SFHs) of 33 FUV-bright regions in M31. The region areas ranged from ~$10^4$ to $10^6$ pc$^2$, which allowed us to test the reliability of FUV flux as a tracer of recent star formation on sub-kpc scales. The star formation rates (SFRs) derived from the extinction-corrected observed FUV fluxes were, on average, consistent with the 100-Myr mean SFRs of the SFHs to within the 1$\sigma$ scatter. Overall, the scatter was larger than the uncertainties in the SFRs and particularly evident among the smallest regions. The scatter was consistent with an even combination of discrete sampling of the initial mass function and high variability in the SFHs. This result demonstrates the importance of satisfying both the full-IMF and the constant-SFR assumptions for obtaining precise SFR estimates from FUV flux. Assuming a robust FUV extinction correction, we estimate that a factor of 2.5 uncertainty can be expected in FUV-based SFRs for regions smaller than $10^5$ pc$^2$, or a few hundred pc. We also examined ages and masses derived from UV flux under the common assumption that the regions are simple stellar populations (SSPs). The SFHs showed that most of the regions are not SSPs, and the age and mass estimates were correspondingly discrepant from the SFHs. For those regions with SSP-like SFHs, we found mean discrepancies of 10 Myr in age and a factor of 3 to 4 in mass. It was not possible to distinguish the SSP-like regions from the others based on integrated FUV flux.
    04/2014; 788(1).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We measure the extinction curve in the central 200 pc of M31 at mid-ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths (from 1928A to 1.5{\mu}m), using Swift/UVOT and HST WFC3/ACS observations in thirteen bands. Taking advantage of the high angular resolution of the HST WFC3 and ACS detectors, we develop a method to simultaneously determine the relative extinction and the fraction of obscured starlight for five dusty complexes located in the circumnuclear region. The extinction curves of these clumps (RV =2.4-2.5) are steeper than the average Galactic one (RV =3.1), but are similar to optical and near-infrared curves recently measured toward the Galactic Bulge (RV~2.5). This similarity suggests that steep extinction curves may be common in the inner bulge of galaxies. In the ultraviolet, the extinction curves of these clumps are also unusual. We find that one dusty clump (size <2 pc) exhibits a strong UV bump (extinction at 2175A), more than three standard deviation higher than that predicted by common models. Although the high stellar metallicity of the M31 bulge indicates that there are sufficient carbon and silicon to produce large dust grains, the grains may have been destroyed by supernova explosions or past activity of the central super-massive black hole, resulting in the observed steepened extinction curve.
    03/2014; 785(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present ages and masses for 601 star clusters in M31 from the analysis of the six filter integrated light measurements from near ultraviolet to near infrared wavelengths, made as part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT). We derive the ages and masses using a probabilistic technique, which accounts for the effects of stochastic sampling of the stellar initial mass function. Tests on synthetic data show that this method, in conjunction with the exquisite sensitivity of the PHAT observations and their broad wavelength baseline, provides robust age and mass recovery for clusters ranging from $\sim 10^2 - 2 \times 10^6 M_\odot$. We find that the cluster age distribution is consistent with being uniform over the past $100$ Myr, which suggests a weak effect of cluster disruption within M31. The age distribution of older ($>100$ Myr) clusters fall towards old ages, consistent with a power-law decline of index $-1$, likely from a combination of fading and disruption of the clusters. We find that the mass distribution of the whole sample can be well-described by a single power-law with a spectral index of $-1.9 \pm 0.1$ over the range of $10^3-3 \times 10^5 M_\odot$. However, if we subdivide the sample by galactocentric radius, we find that the age distributions remain unchanged. However, the mass spectral index varies significantly, showing best fit values between $-2.2$ and $-1.8$, with the shallower slope in the highest star formation intensity regions. We explore the robustness of our study to potential systematics and conclude that the cluster mass function may vary with respect to environment.
    02/2014; 786(2).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The [CII] 158 micron line is typically the brightest far-IR emission line from star-forming galaxies. To use this line as a tracer of star-formation and a diagnostic of ISM conditions, we must understand which phases of the ISM and what gas heating sources are contributing to it. As a massive, nearby galaxy, Andromeda is ideal for studying [CII] because we can resolve individual star-forming regions in the galaxy, but it is representative of more distant galaxies. To address the origins of [CII], we have assembled a unique set of observations including: [CII] 158 micron and [OI] 63 micron lines from Herschel PACS; fully sampled optical integral field spectroscopy from PPAK on the Calar Alto 3.5m, and Herschel dust continuum mapping from 70-500 microns. These observations span a range of conditions across Andromeda. We present first results on how [CII] correlates with the far-IR continuum on ~50 pc scales. In particular, we find that star-forming regions in M31 do not exhibit a "[CII] line deficit" even in regions where the dust is very warm. Using the optical line emission, we determine the fraction of [CII] emission spatially associated with star-forming regions. Our method implies a high fraction ~40-75% of [CII] emission is coming from diffuse regions. These diffuse regions appear to dominated by the UV interstellar radiation field, which we infer from the Pan-Chromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury data to be dominated by B stars. Our results suggest that studies using [CII] to trace the massive star-formation rate must take into account the the contribution of older stellar populations in heating the ISM gas.
    01/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We discuss the relevance of UV data in the detection and characterization of hot massive stars and young stellar populations in galaxies. We show results from recent extensive surveys in M31 and M33 with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) multi-wavelength data including UV filters, which imaged several regions at a linear resolution (projected) of less than half a pc in these galaxies, and from GALEX far-UV and near-UV wide-field, low-resolution imaging of the entire galaxies. Both datasets allow us to study the hierarchical structure of star formation: the youngest stellar groups are the most compact, and are often arranged within broader, sparser structures. The derived recent star-formation rates are rather similar for the two galaxies, when scaled for the respective areas. We show how uncertainties in metallicity and type of selective extinction for the internal reddening may affect the results, and how an appropriate complement of UV filters could reduce such uncertainties, and significantly alleviate some parameter degeneracies.
    Advances in Space Research 01/2014; 53(6):928–938. · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have mapped the distribution of young and old stars in the gaseous HI warp of NGC 4565. We find a clear correlation of young stars (<600 Myr) with the warp, but no coincident old stars (>1 Gyr), which places an upper limit on the age of the structure. The formation rate of the young stars, which increased ~300 Myr ago relative to the surrounding regions, is (6.3 +2.5/-1.5) x 10^-5 M_sol/yr/kpc^2. This implies a ~60+/-20 Gyr depletion time of the HI warp, similar to the timescales calculated for the outer HI disks of nearby spiral galaxies. While some stars associated with the warp fall into the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) region of the color magnitude diagram, where stars could be as old as 1 Gyr, further investigation suggests that they may be interlopers rather than real AGB stars. We discuss the implications of these age constraints for the formation of HI warps, and the gas fueling of disk galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2013; 780(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of a new faint dwarf galaxy, GHOSTS I, using HST/ACS data from one of our GHOSTS (Galaxy Halos, Outer disks, Substructure, Thick disk, and Star clusters) fields. Its detected individual stars populate an approximately one magnitude range of its luminosity function (LF). Using synthetic color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) to compare with the galaxy's CMD, we find that the colors and magnitudes of GHOSTS I's individual stars are most consistent with being young helium-burning and asymptotic giant branch stars at a distance of 12 +/- 2 Mpc. Morphologically, GHOSTS I appears to be actively forming stars, so we tentatively classify it as a dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxy, although future HST observations deep enough to resolve a larger magnitude range in its LF are required to make a more secure classification. GHOSTS I's absolute magnitude is $M_V = -9.85^{+ 0.40}_{- 0.33}$, making it one of the least luminous dIrr galaxies known, and its metallicity is lower than [Fe/H] =-1.5 dex. The half-light radius of GHOSTS I is 226 +/- 38 pc and its ellipticity is 0.47 +/- 0.07, similar to Milky Way and M31 dwarf satellites at comparable luminosity. There are no luminous massive galaxies or galaxy clusters within ~ 4 Mpc from GHOSTS I that could be considered as its host, making it a very isolated dwarf galaxy in the Local Universe.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2013; 780(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
1,030.78 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2012–2014
    • New Mexico State University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
  • 2008–2014
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1999–2014
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Astronomy
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2013
    • University of California Observatories
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
    • Raytheon Company
      Waltham, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001–2010
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 2009
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Astronomy
      Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 1996–2009
    • Carnegie Institution for Science
      Washington, West Virginia, United States
    • Carnegie Institute
      Pasadena, Texas, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2006
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2003
    • Eötvös Loránd University
      • Department of Physics of Complex Systems
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2002
    • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
      Batavia, Illinois, United States
  • 2000
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States