DDO 216-A1: A Central Globular Cluster in a Low-luminosity Transition-type Galaxy

Andrew A. Cole, Daniel R. Weisz, Evan D. Skillman, Ryan Leaman, Benjamin F. Williams, Andrew E. Dolphin, L. Clifton Johnson, Alan W. McConnachie, Michael Boylan-Kolchin, Julianne Dalcanton, Fabio Governato, Piero Madau, Sijing Shen, Mark Vogelsberger

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    8 Scopus citations


    We confirm that the object DDO 216-A1 is a substantial globular cluster at the center of Local Group galaxy DDO 216 (the Pegasus dwarf irregular), using Hubble Space Telescope ACS imaging. By fitting isochrones, we find the cluster metallicity [M/H] = -1.6 ±0.2, for reddening E(B-V) = 0.16 ±0.02; the best-fit age is 12.3 ±0.8 Gyr. There are RR Lyrae variables in the cluster; the magnitude of the fundamental mode pulsators gives a distance modulus of 24.77 ±0.08 - identical to the host galaxy. The ratio of overtone to fundamental mode variables and their mean periods make DDO 216-A1 an Oosterhoff Type I cluster. We find a central surface brightness of 20.85 ±0.17 F814W mag arcsec-2, a half-light radius of (13.4 pc), and an absolute magnitude M814 = -7.90 ±0.16 (M/M ≈ 105). King models fit to the cluster give the core radius and concentration index, r c = ± and c = 1.24 ±0.39. The cluster is an "extended" cluster somewhat typical of some dwarf galaxies and the outer halo of the Milky Way. The cluster is projected ≲30 pc south of the center of DDO 216, unusually central compared to most dwarf galaxy globular clusters. Analytical models of dynamical friction and tidal destruction suggest that it probably formed at a larger distance, up to ∼1 kpc, and migrated inward. DDO 216 has an unexceptional specific cluster frequency, S N = 10. DDO 216 is the lowest-luminosity Local Group galaxy to host a 105 M globular cluster and the only transition-type (dSph/dIrr) galaxy in the Local Group with a globular cluster.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number54
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant no. HST GO-13768 from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. M.B.-K. acknowledges support from NSF grant AST-1517226 and from NASA grants HST-AR-12836, HST-AR-13888, and HST-AR-13896 awarded by STScI. The authors thank the anonymous referee for the very helpful comments, which improved the paper. Thanks also goes to Charlotte Christensen for sharing her simulation work on the formation of dwarf galaxies. A.A.C. is grateful to Chris Howk, Jay Gallagher, and Warren Hankey for help chasing obscure references.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


    • Local Group Supporting material: machine-readable table
    • galaxies: dwarf
    • galaxies: individual (DDO 216)
    • galaxies: star clusters: general

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