Star formation at the edge of the Local Group: a rising star formation history in the isolated galaxy WLM
Author(s)Albers, Saundra M; Weisz, Daniel R; Cole, Andrew A; Dolphin, Andrew E; Skillman, Evan D; Williams, Benjamin F; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael; Bullock, James S; Dalcanton, Julianne J; Hopkins, Philip F; Leaman, Ryan; McConnachie, Alan W; Vogelsberger, Mark; Wetzel, Andrew; ... Show more Show less
MetadataShow full item record
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society 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 rh) and outer field (0.7 rh) 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*(z = 0) ∼ 105-107 M☉). These differences may be explainable by systematics in the models (e.g. reionization model) and/or observations (HST field placement). We 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.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press (OUP)