A deeper look at DES Dwarf Galaxy Candidates: Grus I and Indus II

DES Collaboration, A. Amara

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We present deep g- and r-band Magellan/Megacam photometry of two dwarf galaxy candidates discovered in the Dark Energy Survey (DES), Grus i and Indus ii (DES J2038–4609). For the case of Grus i, we resolved the main sequence turn-off (MSTO) and ∼2 mags below it. The MSTO can be seen at g0 ∼ 24 with a photometric uncertainty of 0.03 mag. We show Grus i to be consistent with an old, metal-poor (∼13.3 Gyr, [Fe/H] ∼ −1.9) dwarf galaxy. We derive updated distance and structural parameters for Grus i using this deep, uniform, wide-field data set. We find an azimuthally-averaged halflight radius more than two times larger (∼151+21−31 pc; ∼$4\buildrel{\,\prime}\over{.} {16}_{-0.74}^{+0.54}$) and an absolute V-band magnitude ∼−4.1 that is ∼1 magnitude brighter than previous studies. We obtain updated distance, ellipticity, and centroid parameters that are in agreement with other studies within uncertainties. Although our photometry of Indus ii is ∼2–3 magnitudes deeper than the DES Y1 public release, we find no coherent stellar population at its reported location. The original detection was located in an incomplete region of sky in the DES Y2Q1 data set and was flagged due to potential blue horizontal branch member stars. The best-fit isochrone parameters are physically inconsistent with both dwarf galaxies and globular clusters. We conclude that Indus ii is likely a false positive, flagged due to a chance alignment of stars along the line of sight.
Original languageEnglish
Article number81
Number of pages12
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021


  • astro-ph.GA
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • Dwarf galaxies
  • Astronomy data analysis
  • Photometry
  • Galaxy properties
  • Bayesian statistics


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