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  • Nicolas F. Martin
  • Valentin Jungbluth
  • David L. Nidever
  • Eric F. Bell
  • Gurtina Besla
  • Robert D. Blum
  • Maria Rosa L Cioni
  • Blair C. Conn
  • Catherine C. Kaleida
  • Carme Gallart
  • Shoko Jin
  • Steven R. Majewski
  • David Martinez-Delgado
  • Antonela Monachesi
  • Ricardo R. Muñoz
  • Noelia E D Noël
  • Knut Olsen
  • Guy S. Stringfellow
  • Roeland P. Van Der Marel
  • A. Katherina Vivas
  • And 2 others
  • Alistair R. Walker
  • Dennis Zaritsky
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Original languageEnglish
Article numberL10
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Journal publication date10 Oct 2016
Volume830
Issue1
Early online date6 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016

Abstract

We present the discovery of a very faint stellar system, SMASH 1, that is potentially a satellite of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Found within the Survey of the Magellanic Stellar History (SMASH), SMASH 1 is a compact (rh=9.1-3.4+5.9pc) and very low luminosity (Mv=-1.0±0.9,Lv=102.3±0.4L ) stellar system that is revealed by its sparsely populated main sequence and a handful of red giant branch candidate member stars. The photometric properties of these stars are compatible with a metal-poor ([Fe/H]=-2.2) and old (13 Gyr) isochrone located at a distance modulus of ∼18.8, i.e., a distance of . Situated at 11.°3 from the LMC in projection, its three-dimensional distance from the Cloud is 13 kpc, consistent with a connection to the LMC, whose tidal radius is at least . Although the nature of SMASH 1 remains uncertain, its compactness favors it being a stellar cluster and hence dark-matter free. If this is the case, its dynamical tidal radius is only ≲19 pc at this distance from the LMC, and smaller than the system's extent on the sky. Its low luminosity and apparent high ellipticity (ϵ=0.62-0.21+0.17) with its major axis pointing toward the LMC may well be the tell-tale sign of its imminent tidal demise.

ID: 11098386