A rogues gallery of Andromeda's dwarf galaxies - II. Precise distances to 17 faint satellites

Daniel R. Weisz, Andrew E. Dolphin, Nicolas F. Martin, Saundra M. Albers, Michelle L.M. Collins, Annette M.N. Ferguson, Geraint F. Lewis, A. Dougal Mackey, Alan McConnachie, R. Michael Rich, Evan D. Skillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present new horizontal branch (HB) distance measurements to 17 of the faintest known M31 satellites (−6 ≲ MV ≲ −13) based on deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging. The colour-magnitude diagrams extend ∼1-2 mag below the HB, which provides for well-defined HBs, even for faint galaxies in which the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) is sparsely populated. We determine distances across the sample to an average precision of 4 per cent (∼30 kpc at 800 kpc). We find that the majority of these galaxies are in good agreement, though slightly farther (0.1-0.2 mag) when compared to recent ground-based TRGB distances. Two galaxies (And IX and And XVII) have discrepant HST and ground-based distances by ∼0.3 mag (∼150 kpc), which may be due to contamination from Milky Way foreground stars and/or M31 halo stars in sparsely populated TRGB regions. We use the new distances to update the luminosities and structural parameters for these 17 M31 satellites. The new distances do not substantially change the spatial configuration of the M31 satellite system. We comment on future prospects for precise and accurate HB distances for faint galaxies in the Local Group and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume489
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for HST program GO-13699 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with program HST-SNAP-13442 and HST-GO-13699. DRW acknowledges support from an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. SMA is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant DGE 1752814. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research made use of Astropy,1 a community-developed core PYTHON package for Astronomy (As-tropy Collaboration et al. 2013, 2018).

Funding Information:
Support for HST program GO-13699 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with program HST-SNAP-13442 and HST-GO-13699. DRW acknowledges support from an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. SMA is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant DGE 1752814. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research made use of Astropy,1 a community-developed core PYTHON package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013, 2018).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society

Keywords

  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Local Group

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