Resolved Dwarf galaxy searches within ∼5Mpc with the Vera Rubin observatory and subaru hyper suprime-cam

Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, David J. Sand, Denija Crnojević, Alex Drlica-Wagner, Nelson Caldwell, Puragra Guhathakurta, Anil C. Seth, Joshua D. Simon, Jay Strader, Elisa Toloba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We present a preview of the faint dwarf galaxy discoveries that will be possible with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam in the next decade. In this work, we combine deep ground-based images from the Panoramic Imaging Survey of Centaurus and Sculptor and extensive image simulations to investigate the recovery of faint, resolved dwarf galaxies in the Local Volume with a matched-filter technique. We adopt three fiducial distances (1.5, 3.5, and 5 Mpc) and quantitatively evaluate the effects on dwarf detection of varied stellar backgrounds, ellipticity, and Milky Way foreground contamination and extinction. We show that our matched-filter method is powerful for identifying both compact and extended systems, and near-future surveys will be able to probe at least ∼4.5 mag below the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) for a distance of up to 1.5 Mpc and ∼2 mag below the TRGB at 5 Mpc. This will push the discovery frontier for resolved dwarf galaxies to fainter magnitudes, lower surface brightnesses, and larger distances. Our simulations show the secure census of dwarf galaxies down to MV ≈ -5, -7, and -8 will soon be within reach, out to 1.5, 3.5, and 5 Mpc, respectively, allowing us to quantify the statistical fluctuations in satellite abundances around hosts and parse environmental effects as a function of host properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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