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SMASH 1: A Very Faint Globular Cluster Disrupting in the Outer Reaches of the LMC?

Martin, Nicolas F., Jungbluth, Valentin, Nidever, David L., Bell, Eric F., Besla, Gurtina, Blum, Robert D., Cioni, Maria-Rosa L., Conn, Blair C., Kaleida, Catherine C., Gallart, Carme , Jin, Shoko, Majewski, Steven R., Martinez-Delgado, David, Monachesi, Antonela, Muñoz, Ricardo R., Noel, Noelia, Olsen, Knut, Stringfellow, Guy S., van der Marel, Roeland P., Vivas, A. Katherina, Walker, Alistair R. and Zaritsky, Dennis (2016) SMASH 1: A Very Faint Globular Cluster Disrupting in the Outer Reaches of the LMC? Letters of the Astrophysical Journal, 830 (L10).

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We present the discovery of a very faint stellar system, SMASH 1, that is potentially a satellite of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Found within the Survey of the Magellanic Stellar History (SMASH), SMASH 1 is a compact (${r}_{h}={9.1}_{-3.4}^{+5.9}\,\mathrm{pc}$) and very low luminosity (${M}_{V}=-1.0\pm 0.9$, ${L}_{V}={10}^{2.3\pm 0.4}\,{L}_{\odot }$) stellar system that is revealed by its sparsely populated main sequence and a handful of red giant branch candidate member stars. The photometric properties of these stars are compatible with a metal-poor ($[\mathrm{Fe}/{\rm{H}}]=-2.2$) and old (13 Gyr) isochrone located at a distance modulus of ~18.8, i.e., a distance of $\sim 57\,\mathrm{kpc}$. Situated at 11fdg3 from the LMC in projection, its three-dimensional distance from the Cloud is $\sim 13\,\mathrm{kpc}$, consistent with a connection to the LMC, whose tidal radius is at least $16\,\mathrm{kpc}$. Although the nature of SMASH 1 remains uncertain, its compactness favors it being a stellar cluster and hence dark-matter free. If this is the case, its dynamical tidal radius is only $\lesssim 19\,\mathrm{pc}$ at this distance from the LMC, and smaller than the system's extent on the sky. Its low luminosity and apparent high ellipticity ($\epsilon ={0.62}_{-0.21}^{+0.17}$) with its major axis pointing toward the LMC may well be the tell-tale sign of its imminent tidal demise.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Physics
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors :
Martin, Nicolas F.
Jungbluth, Valentin
Nidever, David L.
Bell, Eric F.
Besla, Gurtina
Blum, Robert D.
Cioni, Maria-Rosa L.
Conn, Blair C.
Kaleida, Catherine C.
Gallart, Carme
Jin, Shoko
Majewski, Steven R.
Martinez-Delgado, David
Monachesi, Antonela
Muñoz, Ricardo R.
Olsen, Knut
Stringfellow, Guy S.
van der Marel, Roeland P.
Vivas, A. Katherina
Walker, Alistair R.
Zaritsky, Dennis
Date : 6 October 2016
DOI : 10.3847/2041-8205/830/1/L10
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2016 The American Astronomical Society.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Globular clusters: individual: (SMASH 1). Local Group. Magellanic Clouds.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 04 Apr 2017 17:32
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 17:13

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