The Faint Optical Stellar Luminosity Function in the Ursa Minor Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

Sofia Feltzing, G Gilmore, R F G Wyse

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Abstract

Analyses of their internal stellar kinematics imply that the dwarf spheroidal (dSph) companion galaxies to the Milky Way are among the most dark matter-dominated systems known. Should there be significant dark matter in the form of faint stars in these systems, the stellar luminosity function must be very different from that of a similar metallicity globular cluster, for which there is no evidence for dark matter. We present the faint stellar luminosity function in the Ursa Minor dSph, down to a luminosity corresponding to ~0.45 M_solar, derived from new deep Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 data. We find a remarkable similarity between this luminosity function, and inferred initial mass function, and those of the globular cluster M92, a cluster of similar age and metallicity to the Ursa Minor dSph.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L17-L20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume516
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Keywords

  • dark mattergalaxies: individual (Ursa Minor)galaxies: kinematics and dynamicsgalaxies: stellar contentstars: luminosity function
  • mass function

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