Stellar population and structural properties of dwarf galaxies and young stellar systems in the M81 group

Sakurako Okamoto, Nobuo Arimoto, Annette M. N. Ferguson, Mike J. Irwin, Edouard J. Bernard, Yousuke Utsumi

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We use Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope to investigate the structural and photometric properties of early-type dwarf galaxies and young stellar systems at the center of the M81 Group. We have mapped resolved stars to ∼ 2 magnitudes below the tip of the red giant branch over almost 6.5 square degrees, corresponding to a projected area of 160×160kpc at the distance of M81. The resulting stellar catalogue enables a homogeneous analysis of the member galaxies with unprecedented sensitivity to low surface brightness emission. The radial profiles of the
dwarf galaxies are well-described by Sersic and King profiles, and show no obvious signatures of tidal disruption. The measured radii for most of these systems are larger than the existing literature values and we find the total luminosity of IKN (MV,0 = −14.29) to be almost 3 magnitudes brighter than previously-thought. We identify new dwarf satellite candidates, d1006+69 and d1009+68, which we estimate to lie at a distance of 4.3±0.2 Mpc and 3.5±0.5 Mpc. With MV,0 = −8.91± 0.40 and [M/H] = −1.83± 0.28, d1006+69 is one of the faintest and most metal-poor dwarf satellites
currently-known in the M81 Group. The luminosity functions of young stellar systems in the outlying tidal HI debris imply continuous star formation in the recent past and the existence of populations as young as 30 Myr old. We find no evidence for old RGB stars coincident with the young MS/cHeB stars which define these objects, supporting the idea that they are genuinely new stellar systems resulting from triggered star formation in gaseous tidal debris.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2019


  • astro-ph.GA


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