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The Resolved Stellar Populations of a Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy in the Virgo Cluster

By Patrick R. Durrell, Benjamin F. Williams, Robin Ciardullo, John J. Feldmeier, Steinn Sigurdsson, George H. Jacoby, Henry C. Ferguson, Nial R. Tanvir, Magda Arnaboldi, Ortwin Gerhard, J. Alfonso, L. Aguerri and Ken Freeman


We report on the discovery of a faint (MV ∼ −10.6 ± 0.2) dwarf spheroidal galaxy on deep F606W and F814W Hubble Space Telescope images of a Virgo intracluster field. The galaxy is easily resolved in our images, as our color magnitude diagram (CMD) extends � 1 magnitude beyond the tip of the red giant branch (RGB). Thus, it is the deepest CMD for a small dwarf galaxy inside a cluster environment. Using the colors of the RGB stars, we derive a metal abundance for the dwarf of [M/H] = −2.3 ± 0.3, and show that the metallicity dispersion is less than 0.6 dex at 95 % confidence. We also use the galaxy’s lack

Year: 2006
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