Deep Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam Observations of Milky Way Satellites Columba i and Triangulum II

Jeffrey L. Carlin, David J. Sand, Ricardo R. Munoz, Kristine Spekkens, Beth Willman, Denija Crnojević, Duncan A. Forbes, Jonathan Hargis, Evan Kirby, Annika H.G. Peter, Aaron J. Romanowsky, Jay Strader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We present deep, wide-field Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam photometry of two recently discovered satellites of the Milky Way (MW): Columba I (Col I) and Triangulum II (Tri II). The colormagnitude diagrams of both objects point to exclusively old and metal-poor stellar populations. We re-derive structural parameters and luminosities of these satellites, and find MV,Col I = -4.2± 0.2 for Col I and MV,Tri II = -1.2± 0.4 for Tri II, with corresponding half-light radii of rh,Col I = 117± 17 pc and rh,Tri II = 21± 4 pc. The properties of both systems are consistent with observed scaling relations for MW dwarf galaxies. Based on archival data, we derive upper limits on the neutral gas content of these dwarfs, and find that they lack H I, as do the majority of observed satellites within the MW virial radius. Neither satellite shows evidence of tidal stripping in the form of extensions or distortions in matched-filter stellar density maps or surface-density profiles. However, the smaller Tri II system is relatively metal-rich for its luminosity (compared to other MW satellites), possibly because it has been tidally stripped. Through a suite of orbit simulations, we show that Tri II is approaching pericenter of its eccentric orbit, a stage at which tidal debris is unlikely to be seen. In addition, we find that Tri II may be on its first infall into the MW, which helps explain its unique properties among MW dwarfs. Further evidence that Tri II is likely an ultra-faint dwarf comes from its stellar mass function, which is similar to those of other MW dwarfs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number267
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Local Group
  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: individual (Columba I, Triangulum II)
  • galaxies: photometry-Galaxy: halo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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