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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

    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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  3. null (Ed.)