Deep SOAR follow-up photometry of two Milky Way outer-halo companions discovered with Dark Energy Survey

E. Luque, B. Santiago, A. Pieres, J. L. Marshall, A. B. Pace, R. Kron, A. Drlica-Wagner, A. Queiroz, E. Balbinot, M. dal Ponte, A. Fausti Neto, L. N. da Costa, M. A.G. Maia, A. R. Walker, F. B. Abdalla, S. Allam, J. Annis, K. Bechtol, A. Benoit-Lévy, E. BertinD. Brooks, A. Carnero Rosell, M. Carrasco Kind, J. Carretero, M. Crocce, C. Davis, P. Doel, T. F. Eifler, B. Flaugher, J. García-Bellido, D. W. Gerdes, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, G. Gutierrez, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, R. Miquel, R. C. Nichol, A. A. Plazas, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, R. Schindler, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, M. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, F. Sobreira, E. Suchyta, G. Tarle, D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the discovery of a new star cluster, DES 3, in the constellation of Indus, and deeper observations of the previously identified satellite DES J0222.7-5217 (Eridanus III). DES 3 was detected as a stellar overdensity in first-year Dark Energy Survey data, and confirmed with deeper photometry from the 4.1-m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope. The new system was detected with a relatively high significance and appears in the DES images as a compact concentration of faint blue point sources. We determine that DES 3 is located at a heliocentric distance of ≃76.2 kpc and it is dominated by an old (≃9.8Gyr) and metal-poor ([Fe/H] ≃ -1.84) population. While the age and metallicity values of DES 3 are comparable to typical globular clusters (objects with a high stellar density, stellar mass of ~105 M and luminosity MV ~ -7.3), its half-light radius (rh ~ 6.87 pc) and luminosity (MV ~ -1.7) are more indicative of faint star cluster. Based on the angular size, DES 3, with a value of rh ~ 0'.31, is among the smallest faint star clusters known to date. Furthermore, using deeper imaging of DES J0222.7-5217 taken with the SOAR telescope, we update structural parameters and perform the first isochrone modelling. Our analysis yields the first age (≃12.6Gyr) and metallicity ([Fe/H] ≃ -2.01) estimates for this object. The half-light radius (rh ≃ 11.24 pc) and luminosity (MV ≃ -2.4) of DES J0222.7-5217 suggest that it is likely a faint star cluster. The discovery of DES 3 indicates that the census of stellar systems in the MilkyWay is still far from complete, and demonstrates the power of modern wide-field imaging surveys to improve our knowledge of the Galaxy's satellite population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2006-2018
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume478
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Keywords

  • Galaxy: halo
  • Globular clusters: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Luque, E., Santiago, B., Pieres, A., Marshall, J. L., Pace, A. B., Kron, R., Drlica-Wagner, A., Queiroz, A., Balbinot, E., dal Ponte, M., Fausti Neto, A., da Costa, L. N., Maia, M. A. G., Walker, A. R., Abdalla, F. B., Allam, S., Annis, J., Bechtol, K., Benoit-Lévy, A., ... Thomas, D. (2018). Deep SOAR follow-up photometry of two Milky Way outer-halo companions discovered with Dark Energy Survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 478(2), 2006-2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sty1039