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  1. ABSTRACT

    While dwarf galaxies observed in the field are overwhelmingly star forming, dwarf galaxies in environments as dense or denser than the Milky Way are overwhelmingly quenched. In this paper, we explore quenching in the lower density environment of the Small-Magellanic-Cloud-mass galaxy NGC 3109 (M$_* \sim 10^8 \, \text{M}_\odot$), which hosts two known dwarf satellite galaxies (Antlia and Antlia B), both of which are ${\rm H}\, \rm{\small I}$ deficient compared to similar galaxies in the field and have recently stopped forming stars. Using a new semi-analytic model in concert with the measured star formation histories and gas masses of the two dwarf satellite galaxies, we show that they could not have been quenched solely by direct ram pressure stripping of their interstellar media, as is common in denser environments. Instead, we find that separation of the satellites from pristine gas inflows, coupled with stellar-feedback-driven outflows from the satellites (jointly referred to as the starvation quenching model), can quench the satellites on time-scales consistent with their likely infall times into NGC 3109’s halo. It is currently believed that starvation is caused by ‘weak’ ram pressure that prevents low-density, weakly bound gas from being accreted on to the dwarf satellite, but cannot directly remove the denser interstellar medium. This suggests that star-formation-driven outflows serve two purposes in quenching satellites in low-mass environments: outflows from the host form a low-density circumgalactic medium that cannot directly strip the interstellar media from its satellites, but is sufficient to remove loosely bound gaseous outflows from the dwarf satellites driven by their own star formation.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT We present results from a resolved stellar population search for dwarf satellite galaxies of six nearby (D < 5 Mpc), sub-Milky Way mass hosts using deep (m ∼ 27 mag) optical imaging from the Large Binocular Telescope. We perform image simulations to quantify our detection efficiency for dwarfs over a large range in luminosity and size, and develop a fast catalogue-based emulator that includes a treatment of unresolved photometric blending. We discover no new dwarf satellites, but we recover two previously known dwarfs (DDO 113 and LV J1228+4358) with MV < −12 that lie in our survey volume. We preview a new theoretical framework to predict satellite luminosity functions using analytical probability distribution functions and apply it to our sample, finding that we predict one fewer classical dwarf and one more faint dwarf (MV ∼ −7.5) than we find in our observational sample (i.e. the observational sample is slightly top-heavy). However, the overall number of dwarfs in the observational sample (2) is in good agreement with the theoretical expectations. Interestingly, DDO 113 shows signs of environmental quenching and LV J1228+4358 is tidally disrupting, suggesting that low-mass hosts may affect their satellites more severely than previously believed. 
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  3. ABSTRACT

    The classical globular clusters found in all galaxy types have half-light radii of rh ∼ 2–4 pc, which have been tied to formation in the dense cores of giant molecular clouds. Some old star clusters have larger sizes, and it is unclear if these represent a fundamentally different mode of low-density star cluster formation. We report the discovery of a rare, young ‘faint fuzzy’ star cluster, NGC 247-SC1, on the outskirts of the low-mass spiral galaxy NGC 247 in the nearby Sculptor group, and measure its radial velocity using Keck spectroscopy. We use Hubble Space Telescope imaging to measure the cluster half-light radius of rh ≃ 12 pc and a luminosity of LV ≃ 4 × 105L⊙. We produce a colour–magnitude diagram of cluster stars and compare to theoretical isochrones, finding an age of ≃300 Myr, a metallicity of [Z/H] ∼ −0.6 and an inferred mass of M⋆ ≃ 9 × 104M⊙. The narrow width of blue-loop star magnitudes implies an age spread of ≲50 Myr, while no old red-giant branch stars are found, so SC1 is consistent with hosting a single stellar population, modulo several unexplained bright ‘red straggler’ stars. SC1 appears to be surrounded by tidal debris, at the end of an ∼2 kpc long stellar filament that also hosts two low-mass, low-density clusters of a similar age. We explore a link between the formation of these unusual clusters and an external perturbation of their host galaxy, illuminating a possible channel by which some clusters are born with large sizes.

     
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    ABSTRACT We present the first satellite system of the Large Binocular Telescope Satellites Of Nearby Galaxies Survey (LBT-SONG), a survey to characterize the close satellite populations of Large Magellanic Cloud to Milky-Way-mass, star-forming galaxies in the Local Volume. In this paper, we describe our unresolved diffuse satellite finding and completeness measurement methodology and apply this framework to NGC 628, an isolated galaxy with ∼1/4 the stellar mass of the Milky Way. We present two new dwarf satellite galaxy candidates: NGC 628 dwA, and dwB with MV = −12.2 and −7.7, respectively. NGC 628 dwA is a classical dwarf while NGC 628 dwB is a low-luminosity galaxy that appears to have been quenched after reionization. Completeness corrections indicate that the presence of these two satellites is consistent with CDM predictions. The satellite colours indicate that the galaxies are neither actively star forming nor do they have the purely ancient stellar populations characteristic of ultrafaint dwarfs. Instead, and consistent with our previous work on the NGC 4214 system, they show signs of recent quenching, further indicating that environmental quenching can play a role in modifying satellite populations even for hosts smaller than the Milky Way. 
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  6. ABSTRACT

    We investigate the case for environmental quenching of the Fornax-mass satellite DDO 113, which lies only 9 kpc in projection from its host, the Large-Magellanic-Cloud-mass galaxy NGC 4214. DDO 113 was quenched about 1 Gyr ago and is virtually gas-free, while analogs in the field are predominantly star-forming and gas-rich. We use deep imaging obtained with the Large Binocular Telescope to show that DDO 113 exhibits no evidence of tidal disruption to a surface brightness of μV ∼ 29 mag arcsec−2, based on both unresolved emission and resolved stars. Mass-analogs of DDO 113 in Illustris-1 with similar hosts, small projected separations, and no significant tidal stripping first fell into their host halo 2–6 Gyr ago, showing that tidal features (or lack thereof) can be used to constrain infall times in systems where there are few other constraints on the orbit of the satellite. With the infall time setting the clock for environmental quenching mechanisms, we investigate the plausibility of several such mechanisms. We find that strangulation, the cessation of cold gas inflows, is likely the dominant quenching mechanism for DDO 113, requiring a time-averaged mass-loading factor of η = 6–11 for star-formation-driven outflows that is consistent with theoretical and observational constraints. Motivated by recent numerical work, we connect DDO 113’s strangulation to the presence of a cool circumgalactic medium (CGM) around NGC 4214. This discovery shows that the CGM of low-mass galaxies can affect their satellites significantly and motivates further work on understanding the baryon cycle in low-mass galaxies.

     
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