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The Hough Stream Spotter: A New Method for Detecting Linear Structure in Resolved Stars and Application to the Stellar Halo of M31Abstract Stellar streams from globular clusters (GCs) offer constraints on the nature of dark matter and have been used to explore the dark matter halo structure and substructure of our Galaxy. Detection of GC streams in other galaxies would broaden this endeavor to a cosmological context, yet no such streams have been detected to date. To enable such exploration, we develop the Hough Stream Spotter ( HSS ), and apply it to the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) photometric data of resolved stars in M31's stellar halo. We first demonstrate that our code can re-discover known dwarf streams in M31. We then use the HSS to blindly identify 27 linear GC stream-like structures in the PAndAS data. For each HSS GC stream candidate, we investigate the morphologies of the streams and the colors and magnitudes of all stars in the candidate streams. We find that the five most significant detections show a stronger signal along the red giant branch in color–magnitude diagrams than spurious non-stream detections. Lastly, we demonstrate that the HSS will easily detect globular cluster streams in future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope data of nearby galaxies. This has the potential to open up a new discovery space formore »
IQ Collaboratory. III. The Empirical Dust Attenuation Framework—Taking Hydrodynamical Simulations with a Grain of DustAbstract We present the empirical dust attenuation (EDA) framework—a flexible prescription for assigning realistic dust attenuation to simulated galaxies based on their physical properties. We use the EDA to forward model synthetic observations for three state-of-the-art large-scale cosmological hydrodynamical simulations: SIMBA, IllustrisTNG, and EAGLE. We then compare the optical and UV color–magnitude relations, ( g − r ) − M r and (far-UV −near-UV) − M r , of the simulations to a M r < − 20 and UV complete Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxy sample using likelihood-free inference. Without dust, none of the simulations match observations, as expected. With the EDA, however, we can reproduce the observed color–magnitude with all three simulations. Furthermore, the attenuation curves predicted by our dust prescription are in good agreement with the observed attenuation–slope relations and attenuation curves of star-forming galaxies. However, the EDA does not predict star-forming galaxies with low A V since simulated star-forming galaxies are intrinsically much brighter than observations. Additionally, the EDA provides, for the first time, predictions on the attenuation curves of quiescent galaxies, which are challenging to measure observationally. Simulated quiescent galaxies require shallower attenuation curves with lower amplitude than star-forming galaxies. The EDA, combined with forwardmore »
The time-scales probed by star formation rate indicators for realistic, bursty star formation histories from the FIRE simulationsABSTRACT Understanding the rate at which stars form is central to studies of galaxy formation. Observationally, the star formation rates (SFRs) of galaxies are measured using the luminosity in different frequency bands, often under the assumption of a time-steady SFR in the recent past. We use star formation histories (SFHs) extracted from cosmological simulations of star-forming galaxies from the FIRE project to analyse the time-scales to which the H α and far-ultraviolet (FUV) continuum SFR indicators are sensitive. In these simulations, the SFRs are highly time variable for all galaxies at high redshift, and continue to be bursty to z = 0 in dwarf galaxies. When FIRE SFHs are partitioned into their bursty and time-steady phases, the best-fitting FUV time-scale fluctuates from its ∼10 Myr value when the SFR is time-steady to ≳100 Myr immediately following particularly extreme bursts of star formation during the bursty phase. On the other hand, the best-fitting averaging time-scale for H α is generally insensitive to the SFR variability in the FIRE simulations and remains ∼5 Myr at all times. These time-scales are shorter than the 100 and 10 Myr time-scales sometimes assumed in the literature for FUV and H α, respectively, because while the FUV emission persists for stellar populations oldermore »