SCYON Abstract

Received on May 31 2005

Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of Globular Cluster Candidates in Low Surface Brightness Dwarf Galaxies

AuthorsMargarita E. Sharina (1,2), Thomas H. Puzia (3), Dmitry I. Makarov (1,2)
Affiliation1 SAO
2 Isaac Newton Institute
Accepted byAstronomy & Astrophysics


Fifty-seven nearby low surface brightness dwarf galaxies were searched for globular cluster candidates (GCCs) using Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 imaging in V and I. The sample consists of 18 dwarf spheroidal (dSph), 36 irregular (dIrr), and 3 "transition" type (dIrr/dSph) galaxies with angular sizes less than 3.7 kpc situated at distances 2-6 Mpc in the field and in the nearby groups: M81, Centaurus A, Sculptor, Canes Venatici I cloud. We find that ~50% of dSph, dIrr/dSph, and dIrr galaxies contain GCCs. The fraction of GCCs located near the center of dwarf spheroidal galaxies is >2 times higher than that for dIrrs. The mean integral color of GCCs in dSphs, V-I = 1.04+/-0.16 mag, coincides with the corresponding value for Galactic globular clusters and is similar to the blue globular cluster sub-populations in massive early-type galaxies. The color distribution for GCCs in dIrrs shows a clear bimodality with peaks near V-I = 0.5 and 1.0 mag. Blue GCCs are presumably young with ages t < 1 Gyr, while the red GCC population is likely to be older. The detected GCCs have absolute visual magnitudes between M_V = -10 and -5 mag. We find indications for an excess population of faint GCCs with M_V > -6.5 mag in both dSph and dIrr galaxies, reminiscent of excess populations of faint globular clusters in nearby Local Group spiral galaxies. The measurement of structural parameters using King-profile fitting reveals that most GCCs have structural parameters similar to extended outer halo globular clusters in the Milky Way and M31, as well as the recently discovered population of "faint fuzzy" clusters in nearby lenticular galaxies.