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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 693594.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
A peculiar faint satellite in the remote outer halo of M31
Authors:Mackey, A. D.; Huxor, A. P.; Martin, N. F.; Ferguson, A. M. N.; Dotter, A.; McConnachie, A. W.; Ibata, R. A.; Irwin, M. J.; Lewis, G. F.; Sakari, C. M.; Tanvir, N. R.; Venn, K. A.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2013
Title of Journal:The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue / Number:2
Start Page:id. L17 (6 pp)
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:We present Hubble Space Telescope imaging of a newly discovered faint stellar system, PAndAS-48, in the outskirts of the M31 halo. Our photometry reveals this object to be comprised of an ancient and very metal-poor stellar population with age >~ 10 Gyr and [Fe/H] lsim -2.3. Our inferred distance modulus (m - M)0 = 24.57 ± 0.11 confirms that PAndAS-48 is most likely a remote M31 satellite with a three-dimensional galactocentric radius of 149^{+19}_{-8} kpc. We observe an apparent spread in color on the upper red giant branch that is larger than the photometric uncertainties should allow, and briefly explore the implications of this. Structurally, PAndAS-48 is diffuse, faint, and moderately flattened, with a half-light radius r_h=26^{+4}_{-3} pc, integrated luminosity MV = -4.8 ± 0.5, and ellipticity \epsilon =0.30^{+0.08}_{-0.15}. On the size-luminosity plane it falls between the extended globular clusters seen in several nearby galaxies and the recently discovered faint dwarf satellites of the Milky Way; however, its characteristics do not allow us to unambiguously classify it as either type of system. If PAndAS-48 is a globular cluster then it is among the most elliptical, isolated, and metal-poor of any seen in the Local Group, extended or otherwise. Conversely, while its properties are generally consistent with those observed for the faint Milky Way dwarfs, it would be a factor of ~2-3 smaller in spatial extent than any known counterpart of comparable luminosity. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program GO 12515.
Free Keywords:galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: individual: M31; globular clusters: general; Local Group
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
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