Rediscovery of the Sixth Star Cluster in the Fornax Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

Wang, M Y and Koposov, S and Desai, Shantanu (2019) Rediscovery of the Sixth Star Cluster in the Fornax Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy. The Astrophysical Journal, 875 (2). L13. ISSN 2041-8213

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Abstract

Since first noticed by Shapley in 1939, a faint object coincident with the Fornax dwarf spheroidal has long been discussed as a possible sixth globular cluster (GC) system. However, debate has continued over whether this overdensity is a statistical artifact or a blended galaxy group. In this Letter we demonstrate, using deep DECam imaging data, that this object is well resolved into stars and is a bona fide star cluster. The stellar overdensity of this cluster is statistically significant at the level of ∼6-6.7σ in several different photometric catalogs including Gaia. Therefore, it is highly unlikely to be caused by random fluctuation. We show that Fornax 6 is a star cluster with a peculiarly low surface brightness and irregular shape, which may indicate a strong tidal influence from its host galaxy. The Hess diagram of Fornax 6 is largely consistent with that of Fornax field stars, but it appears to be slightly bluer. However, it is still likely more metal-rich than most of the GCs in the system. Faint clusters like Fornax 6 that orbit and potentially get disrupted in the centers of dwarf galaxies can prove crucial for constraining the dark matter distribution in Milky Way satellites.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Desai, Shantanuhttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-0466-3288
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: galaxies, star clusters, general
Subjects: Physics
Divisions: Department of Physics
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2019 05:21
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2019 05:21
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/6035
Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/ab14f5
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