Stellar Stream and Halo Structure in the Andromeda Galaxy From a Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey

11 Dec 2017  ·  Komiyama Yutaka, Chiba Masashi, Tanaka Mikito, Tanaka Masayuki, Kirihara Takanobu, Miki Yohei, Mori Masao, Lupton Robert H., Guhathakurta Puragra, Kalirai Jason S., Gilbert Karoline, Kirby Evan, Lee Myun Gyoon, Jang In Sung, Sharma Sanjib, Hayashi Kohei ·

We present wide and deep photometry of the northwest part of the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) using Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope. The survey covers 9.2 deg$^{2}$ field in the $g$, $i$, and $NB515$ bands and shows a clear red giant branch (RGB) of M31's halo stars and a pronounced red clump (RC) feature... The spatial distribution of RC stars shows a prominent stream feature, the North Western (NW) Stream, and a diffuse substructure in the south part of our survey field. We estimate the distances based on the RC method and obtain $(m-M)$ = 24.63$\pm 0.191$(random)$\pm0.057$(systematic) and 24.29$\pm 0.211$(random)$\pm0.057$(systematic) mag for the NW stream and diffuse substructure, respectively, implying that the NW Stream is located behind M31, whereas the diffuse substructure is located in front. We also estimate line-of-sight distances along the NW Stream and find that the south part of the stream is $\sim$20 kpc closer to us relative to the north part. The distance to the NW Stream inferred from the isochrone fitting to the color-magnitude diagram favors the RC-based distance, but the TRGB-based distance estimated for $NB515$-selected RGB stars does not agree with it. The surface number density distribution of RC stars across the NW Stream is found to be approximately Gaussian with a FWHM of $\sim$25 arcmin (5.7 kpc), with a slight skew to the south-west side. That along the NW Stream shows a complicated structure including variations in number density and a significant gap in the stream. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies