4 years ago

The Stellar Populations of Two Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies from Optical and Near-infrared Photometry.

Ronald Lasker, William Glaccum, Viraj Pandya, Pieter van Dokkum, David Martinez-Delgado, Jessica Krick, Seppo Laine, Stephen Gwyn, Jean P. Brodie, Alexa Villaume, Jean-Charles Cuillandre, Benjamin D. Johnson, Aaron J. Romanowsky, Ignacio Martin-Navarro

We present observational constraints on the stellar populations of two ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) using optical through near-infrared (NIR) spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. Our analysis is enabled by new $Spitzer$-IRAC 3.6 $\mu$m and 4.5 $\mu$m imaging, archival optical imaging, and the \texttt{prospector} fully Bayesian SED fitting framework. Our sample contains one field UDG (DGSAT I), one Virgo cluster UDG (VCC 1287), and one Virgo cluster dwarf elliptical for comparison (VCC 1122). Independently of SED fitting, we find that the optical--NIR colors of the three galaxies are significantly different from each other. We infer that VCC 1287 has an old ($\gtrsim7.7$ Gyr) and surprisingly metal-poor ($[Z/Z_{\odot}]\lesssim-1.0$) stellar population, even after marginalizing over uncertainties on diffuse interstellar dust. In contrast, the field UDG DGSAT I shows evidence of being younger than the Virgo UDG, with an extended star formation history and an age posterior extending down to $\sim3$ Gyr. The stellar metallicity of DGSAT I is sub-solar but higher than that of the Virgo UDG, with $[Z/Z_{\odot}]=-0.63^{+0.35}_{-0.62}$; in the case of exactly zero diffuse interstellar dust, DGSAT I may even have solar metallicity. The spectroscopically confirmed globular clusters of VCC 1287 have similar optical--NIR colors as the UDG itself, with empirical color relations suggesting sub-solar metallicities and supporting the metal-poor nature of VCC 1287. With VCC 1287 and several Coma UDGs, a general picture is emerging where cluster UDGs may be "failed" galaxies, but the field UDG DGSAT I seems more consistent with a stellar feedback-induced expansion scenario. [abridged]

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05272

DOI: arXiv:1711.05272v1

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