Deep SOAR follow-up photometry of two Milky Way outer-halo companions discovered with Dark Energy Survey
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© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. We report the discovery of a new star cluster, DES 3, in the constellation of Indus, and deeper observations of the previously identified satellite DES J0222.7-5217 (Eridanus III). DES 3 was detected as a stellar overdensity in first-year Dark Energy Survey data, and confirmed with deeper photometry from the 4.1-m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope. The new system was detected with a relatively high significance and appears in the DES images as a compact concentration of faint blue point sources. We determine that DES 3 is located at a heliocentric distance of ≃76.2 kpc and it is dominated by an old (≃9.8Gyr) and metal-poor ([Fe/H] ≃ -1.84) population. While the age and metallicity values of DES 3 are comparable to typical globular clusters (objects with a high stellar density, stellar mass of ~105 M⊙ and luminosity MV ~ -7.3), its half-light radius (rh ~ 6.87 pc) and luminosity (MV ~ -1.7) are more indicative of faint star cluster. Based on the angular size, DES 3, with a value of rh ~ 0'.31, is among the smallest faint star clusters known to date. Furthermore, using deeper imaging of DES J0222.7-5217 taken with the SOAR telescope, we update structural parameters and perform the first isochrone modelling. Our analysis yields the first age (≃12.6Gyr) and metallicity ([Fe/H] ≃ -2.01) estimates for this object. The half-light radius (rh ≃ 11.24 pc) and luminosity (MV ≃ -2.4) of DES J0222.7-5217 suggest that it is likely a faint star cluster. The discovery of DES 3 indicates that the census of stellar systems in the MilkyWay is still far from complete, and demonstrates the power of modern wide-field imaging surveys to improve our knowledge of the Galaxy's satellite population.
author list (cited authors)
Luque, E., Santiago, B., Pieres, A., Marshall, J. L., Pace, A. B., Kron, R., ... Thomas, D.