Systematically Measuring Ultra-diffuse Galaxies (SMUDGes). I. Survey Description and First Results in the Coma Galaxy Cluster and Environs

Dennis Zaritsky, Richard Donnerstein, Arjun Dey, Jennifer Kadowaki, Huanian Zhang, Ananthan Karunakaran, David Martínez-Delgado, Mubdi Rahman, Kristine Spekkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


We present a homogeneous catalog of 275 large (effective radius 5.″3) ultra-diffuse galaxy (UDG) candidates lying within an ≈290 square degree region surrounding the Coma Cluster. The catalog results from our automated postprocessing of data from the Legacy Surveys, a three-band imaging survey covering 14,000 square degrees of the extragalactic sky. We describe a pipeline that identifies UDGs and provides their basic parameters. The survey is as complete in these large UDGs as previously published UDG surveys of the central region of the Coma Cluster. We conclude that the majority of our detections are at roughly the distance of the Coma Cluster, implying effective radii ≥2.5 kpc, and that our sample contains a significant number of analogs of DF44, where the effective radius exceeds 4 kpc, both within the cluster and in the surrounding field. The g - z color of our UDGs spans a large range, suggesting that even large UDGs may reflect a range of formation histories. A majority of the UDGs are consistent with being lower stellar mass analogs of red sequence galaxies, but we find both red and blue UDG candidates in the vicinity of the Coma Cluster and a relative overabundance of blue UDG candidates in the lower-density environments and the field. Our eventual processing of the full Legacy Surveys data will produce the largest, most homogeneous sample of large UDGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • galaxies: evolution-galaxies: fundamental parameters-galaxies: structure Supporting material: machine
  • readable table

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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