Star Formation Histories of Ultra-faint Dwarf Galaxies: Environmental Differences between Magellanic and Non-Magellanic Satellites?

Elena Sacchi, Hannah Richstein, Nitya Kallivayalil, Roeland Van Der Marel, Mattia Libralato, Paul Zivick, Gurtina Besla, Thomas M. Brown, Yumi Choi, Alis Deason, Tobias Fritz, Marla Geha, Puragra Guhathakurta, Myoungwon Jeon, Evan Kirby, Steven R. Majewski, Ekta Patel, Joshua D. Simon, Sangmo Tony Sohn, Erik TollerudAndrew Wetzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present the color-magnitude diagrams and star formation histories (SFHs) of seven ultra-faint dwarf galaxies: Horologium 1, Hydra 2, Phoenix 2, Reticulum 2, Sagittarius 2, Triangulum 2, and Tucana 2, derived from high-precision Hubble Space Telescope photometry. We find that the SFH of each galaxy is consistent with them having created at least 80% of the stellar mass by z ~ 6. For all galaxies, we find quenching times older than 11.5 Gyr ago, compatible with the scenario in which reionization suppresses the star formation of small dark matter halos. However, our analysis also reveals some differences in the SFHs of candidate Magellanic Cloud satellites, i.e., galaxies that are likely satellites of the Large Magellanic Cloud and that entered the Milky Way potential only recently. Indeed, Magellanic satellites show quenching times about 600 Myr more recent with respect to those of other Milky Way satellites, on average, even though the respective timings are still compatible within the errors. This finding is consistent with theoretical models that suggest that satellites' SFHs may depend on their host environment at early times, although we caution that within the error bars all galaxies in our sample are consistent with being quenched at a single epoch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL19
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume920
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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