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Title: Discovery of a stellar overdensity in Eridanus-Phoenix in the dark energy survey

We report the discovery of an excess of main sequence turn-off stars in the direction of the constellations of Eridanus and Phoenix from the first year data of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The Eridanus-Phoenix (EriPhe) overdensity is centered around l~285 deg and b~-60 deg and spans at least 30 deg in longitude and 10 deg in latitude. The Poisson significance of the detection is at least 9 sigma. The stellar population in the overdense region is similar in brightness and color to that of the nearby globular cluster NGC 1261, indicating that the heliocentric distance of EriPhe is about d~16 kpc. The extent of EriPhe in projection is therefore at least ~4 kpc by ~3 kpc. On the sky, this overdensity is located between NGC 1261 and a new stellar stream discovered by DES at a similar heliocentric distance, the so-called Phoenix Stream. Given their similar distance and proximity to each other, it is possible that these three structures may be kinematically associated. Alternatively, the EriPhe overdensity is morphologically similar to the Virgo overdensity and the Hercules-Aquila cloud, which also lie at a similar Galactocentric distance. These three overdensities lie along a polar plane separated by ~120 deg andmore » may share a common origin. Spectroscopic follow-up observations of the stars in EriPhe are required to fully understand the nature of this overdensity.« less
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Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357; arXiv eprint number arXiv:1509.04296
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; AC02-76SF00515
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 817; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Contributing Orgs:
The DES Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astrophysics; galaxy: formation; galaxy: halo; galaxy: structure; galaxy: local group
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1257727