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Physics and Astronomy


We report the discovery of a new faint dwarf galaxy, GHOSTS I, using HST/ACS data from one of our GHOSTS (Galaxy Halos, Outer disks, Substructure, Thick disk, and Star clusters) fields. Its detected individual stars populate an approximately 1 mag range of its luminosity function (LF). Using synthetic color–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) to compare with the galaxy’s CMD, we find that the colors and magnitudes of GHOSTS I’s individual stars are most consistent with being young helium-burning and asymptotic giant branch stars at a distance of ∼12±2 Mpc. Morphologically, GHOSTS I appears to be actively forming stars, so we tentatively classify it as a dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxy, although future Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations deep enough to resolve a larger magnitude range in its LF are required to make a more secure classification. GHOSTS I’s absolute magnitude is MV ∼ −9.85+0.40 −0.33, making it one of the least luminous dIrr galaxies known, and its metallicity is lower than [Fe/H] = −1.5 dex. The half-light radius of GHOSTS I is 226 ± 38 pc and its ellipticity is 0.47 ± 0.07, similar to Milky Way and M31 dwarf satellites at comparable luminosity. There are no luminous massive galaxies or galaxy clusters within ∼4 Mpc from GHOSTS I that could be considered as its host, making it a very isolated dwarf galaxy in the local universe.


Copyright 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Information

Monachesi, Antonela, et al. "GHOSTS I: A New Faint Very Isolated Dwarf Galaxy at D = 12 ± 2 Mpc." 2014. The Astrophysical Journal 780(2): 8 pp.