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  1. Abstract We construct a catalog of star clusters from Hubble Space Telescope images of the inner disk of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33) using image classifications collected by the Local Group Cluster Search, a citizen science project hosted on the Zooniverse platform. We identify 1214 star clusters within the Hubble Space Telescope imaging footprint of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury: Triangulum Extended Region (PHATTER) survey. Comparing this catalog to existing compilations in the literature, 68% of the clusters are newly identified. The final catalog includes multiband aperture photometry and fits for cluster properties via integrated light spectral energy distribution fitting. The cluster catalog’s 50% completeness limit is ∼1500 M ☉ at an age of 100 Myr, as derived from comprehensive synthetic cluster tests.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. ABSTRACT Planck data provide precise constraints on cosmological parameters when assuming the base ΛCDM model, including a 0.17 per cent measurement of the age of the Universe, $t_0=13.797 \pm 0.023\, {\rm Gyr}$. However, the persistence of the ‘Hubble tension’ calls the base ΛCDM model’s completeness into question and has spurred interest in models such as early dark energy (EDE) that modify the assumed expansion history of the Universe. We investigate the effect of EDE on the redshift–time relation z↔t and find that it differs from the base ΛCDM model by at least ${\approx } 4{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at all t and z. As long as EDE remains observationally viable, any inferred t ← z or z ← t quoted to a higher level of precision do not reflect the current status of our understanding of cosmology. This uncertainty has important astrophysical implications: the reionization epoch – 10 > z > 6 – corresponds to disjoint lookback time periods in the base ΛCDM and EDE models, and the EDE value of t0 = 13.25 ± 0.17 Gyr is in tension with published ages of some stars, star clusters, and ultrafaint dwarf galaxies. However, most published stellar ages do not include an uncertainty in accuracy (due to, e.g. uncertainmore »distances and stellar physics) that is estimated to be $\sim 7\!-\!10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, potentially reconciling stellar ages with $t_{0,\rm EDE}$. We discuss how the big data era for stars is providing extremely precise ages ($\lt 1{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) and how improved distances and treatment of stellar physics such as convection could result in ages accurate to $4\!-\!5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, comparable to the current accuracy of t↔z. Such precise and accurate stellar ages can provide detailed insight into the high-redshift Universe independent of a cosmological model.« less
  3. Abstract

    We measure the star cluster mass function (CMF) for the Local Group galaxy M33. We use the catalog of stellar clusters selected from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury: Triangulum Extended Region survey. We analyze 711 clusters in M33 with7.0<log(Age/yr)<8.5, and log(M/M) > 3.0 as determined from color–magnitude diagram fits to individual stars. The M33 CMF is best described by a Schechter function with power-law slopeα= −2.060.13+0.14, and truncation mass log(Mc/M)=4.240.13+0.16. The data show strong evidence for a high-mass truncation, thus strongly favoring a Schechter function fit over a pure power law. M33's truncation mass is consistent with the previously identified linear trend betweenMc, and star formation rate surface density, ΣSFR. We also explore the effect that individual cluster mass uncertainties have on derived mass function parameters, and find evidence to suggest that large cluster mass uncertainties have the potential to bias the truncation mass of fitted mass functions at the 1σlevel.

  4. Abstract

    We use deep narrowband CaHK (F395N) imaging taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to construct the metallicity distribution function (MDF) of Local Group ultra-faint dwarf galaxy EridanusII(EriII). When combined with archival F475W and F814W data, we measure metallicities for 60 resolved red giant branch stars as faint asmF475W∼ 24 mag, a factor of ∼4× more stars than current spectroscopic MDF determinations. We find that EriIIhas a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = −2.500.07+0.07and a dispersion ofσ[Fe/H]=0.420.06+0.06, which are consistent with spectroscopic MDFs, though more precisely constrained owing to a larger sample. We identify a handful of extremely metal-poor star candidates (EMP; [Fe/H] < −3) that are marginally bright enough for spectroscopic follow-up. The MDF of EriIIappears well described by a leaky box chemical evolution model. We also compute an updated orbital history for EriIIusing Gaia eDR3 proper motions, and find that it is likely on first infall into the Milky Way. Our findings suggest that EriIIunderwent an evolutionary history similar to that of an isolated galaxy. Compared to MDFs for select cosmological simulations of similar mass galaxies, we find that EriIIhas a lower fraction of stars withmore »[Fe/H] < −3, though such comparisons should currently be treated with caution due to a paucity of simulations, selection effects, and known limitations of CaHK for EMPs. This study demonstrates the power of deep HST CaHK imaging for measuring the MDFs of UFDs.

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  5. ABSTRACT We explore the radial variation of star formation histories (SFHs) in dwarf galaxies simulated with Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE) physics. The sample contains 26 field dwarf galaxies with Mstar = 105–109 M⊙. We find age gradients are common in our dwarfs, with older stars dominant at large radii. The strength of the gradient correlates with overall galaxy age such that earlier star formation produces a more pronounced gradient. The relation between formation time and strength of the gradient is driven by both mergers and star formation feedback. Mergers can both steepen and flatten the age gradient depending on the timing of the merger and SFHs of the merging galaxy. In galaxies without significant mergers, feedback pushes stars to the outskirts. The strength of the age gradient is determined by the subsequent evolution of the galaxy. Galaxies with weak age gradients constantly grow to z  = 0, meaning that young star formation occurs at a similar radius to which older stars are heated to. In contrast, galaxies with strong age gradients tend to maintain a constant half-mass radius over time. If real galaxies have age gradients as we predict, stellar population studies that rely on sampling a limited fraction of a galaxymore »can give a biased view of its global SFH. Central fields can be biased young by Gyrs while outer fields are biased old. Fields positioned near the 2D half-light radius will provide the least biased measure of a dwarf galaxy’s global SFH.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We present the star formation history (SFH) of the isolated (D ∼ 970 kpc) Local Group dwarf galaxy Wolf–Lundmark–Melotte (WLM) measured from colour–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) constructed from deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging. Our observations include a central ($0.5 \, r_h$) and outer field ($0.7 \, r_h$) that reach below the oldest main-sequence turn-off. WLM has no early dominant episode of star formation: 20 per cent of its stellar mass formed by ∼12.5 Gyr ago ($z$ ∼ 5). It also has an SFR that rises to the present with 50 per cent of the stellar mass within the most recent 5 Gyr ($z$ < 0.7). There is evidence of a strong age gradient: the mean age of the outer field is 5 Gyr older than the inner field despite being only 0.4 kpc apart. Some models suggest such steep gradients are associated with strong stellar feedback and dark-matter core creation. The SFHs of real isolated dwarf galaxies and those from the Feedback in Realistic Environment suite are in good agreement for M⋆($z$ = 0) ∼ 107–109M⊙, but in worse agreement at lower masses ($M_{\star }(z=0) \sim 10^5\!-\!10^7 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$). These differences may be explainable by systematics in the models (e.g. reionization model) and/or observations (HST field placement). Wemore »suggest that a coordinated effort to get deep CMDs between HST/JWST (crowded central fields) and WFIRST (wide-area halo coverage) is the optimal path for measuring global SFHs of isolated dwarf galaxies.« less