AGC 226178 and NGVS 3543: Two Deceptive Dwarfs toward Virgo

Michael G. Jones, David J. Sand, Michele Bellazzini, Kristine Spekkens, John M. Cannon, Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, Ananthan Karunakaran, Giacomo Beccari, Laura Magrini, Giovanni Cresci, John L. Inoue, Jackson Fuson, Elizabeth A.K. Adams, Giuseppina Battaglia, Paul Bennet, Denija Crnojević, Nelson Caldwell, Puragra Guhathakurta, Martha P. Haynes, Ricardo R. MuñozAnil Seth, Jay Strader, Elisa Toloba, Dennis Zaritsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The two sources AGC 226178 and NGVS 3543, an extremely faint, clumpy, blue stellar system and a low surface brightness dwarf spheroidal, are adjacent systems in the direction of the Virgo cluster. Both have been studied in detail previously, with it being suggested that they are unrelated normal dwarf galaxies or that NGVS 3543 recently lost its gas through ram pressure stripping and AGC 226178 formed from this stripped gas. However, with Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys imaging, we demonstrate that the stellar population of NGVS 3543 is inconsistent with being at the distance of the Virgo cluster and that it is likely a foreground object at approximately 10 Mpc, whereas the stellar population of AGC 226178 is consistent with it being a very young (10-100 Myr) object in the Virgo cluster. Through a reanalysis of the original ALFALFA H i detection, we show that AGC 226178 likely formed from gas stripped from the nearby dwarf galaxy VCC 2034, a hypothesis strengthened by the high metallicity measured with MUSE VLT observations. However, it is unclear whether ram pressure or a tidal interaction is responsible for stripping the gas. Object AGC 226178 is one of at least five similar objects now known toward Virgo. These objects are all young and unlikely to remain visible for over ∼500 Myr, suggesting that they are continually produced in the cluster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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