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Title: A HERO'S LITTLE HORSE: DISCOVERY OF A DISSOLVING STAR CLUSTER IN PEGASUS

We report the discovery of an ultra-faint stellar system in the constellation of Pegasus. This concentration of stars was detected by applying our overdensity detection algorithm to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10 and confirmed with deeper photometry from the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) at the 4 m Blanco telescope. The best-fitting model isochrone indicates that this stellar system, Kim 1, features an old (12 Gyr) and metal-poor ([Fe/H] ∼ -1.7) stellar population at a heliocentric distance of 19.8 ± 0.9 kpc. We measure a half-light radius of 6.9 ± 0.6 pc using a Plummer profile. The small physical size and the extremely low luminosity are comparable to the faintest known star clusters Segue 3, Koposov 1 and 2, and Muñoz 1. However, Kim 1 exhibits a lower star concentration and is lacking a well-defined center. It also has an unusually high ellipticity and irregular outer isophotes, which suggests that we are seeing an intermediate mass star cluster being stripped by the Galactic tidal field. An extended search for evidence of an associated stellar stream within the 3 deg{sup 2} DECam field remains inconclusive. The finding of Kim 1 is consistent with current overdensity detection limits and supports the hypothesis that there aremore » still a substantial number of extreme low-luminosity star clusters undetected in the wider Milky Way halo.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Mt Stromlo Observatory, via Cotter Road, Weston, ACT 2611 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364490
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CAMERAS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DETECTION; DISTANCE; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; LUMINOSITY; MASS; METALS; MILKY WAY; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; PHOTOMETRY; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS; TELESCOPES; VISIBLE RADIATION