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We studied the stellar populations of Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy using HST/WFPC2 imaging of 7 galaxy fields. Our observations reach the oldest main-sequence turn-off, revealing distinct stars formation episodes and allowing us to address the evolution of this prototype dwarf spheroidal galaxy known to have experienced an extended history of star formation. From our HST data, spatial gradients in the stellar content of Fornax emerge with greater clarity. The outermost fields show only stars with ages between 7–12Gyr, while the intermediate region hosts a stellar population between 4–10Gyr, and stars younger of 2 Gyr are found in the innermost fields. A clearly visible gap in the subgiant branch points to bimodality in the main star formation episode. Our observations also indicate that the inner clump detected by Coleman et al. (2004) is characterized by the presence of young stars with age about 1.8 Gyr.
Recent observations of UGC 4879 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope confirm that it is a nearby isolated dwarf irregular galaxy. We measure a distance of 1.36 ± 0.03 Mpc using the Tip of the Red Giant Branch method. This distance puts UGC 4879 beyond the radius of first turnaround of the Local Group and ~700 kpc from its nearest neighbor Leo A. This isolation makes this galaxy an ideal laboratory for studying pristine star formation uncomplicated by interactions with other galaxies. We present the star formation history of UGC 4879 derived from simulated color-magnitude diagrams.
The environmental effects on galaxy evolution have recently been disputed based on large SDSS galaxy samples but these effects are still expected to be strong for low-mass galaxies. We obtained deep near-infrared imaging of irregular dwarfs in Cen A, M 81 and Sculptor groups – spanning a range of galaxy density, – and we study the properties of these dwarfs, i.e. abundance, chemical evolution, and structural parameters. Here we give a preliminary assessment of the structural parameters for these galaxies.
The Phoenix dwarf galaxy is the nearest and most typical representative of the class of the so-called transition dwarf galaxies (from spheroidal to irregular). We present here precise velocity measurements obtained from high-resolution spectroscopy of more than one hundred member stars, allowing us to study the stellar kinematics and estimate the internal velocity dispersion and dark matter content.
We present an overview of our study of the short period variable stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and in the dwarf galaxies Fornax, Leo I, and NGC 6822. Light curves are presented for RR Lyrae stars, Anomalous Cepheids and, for the first time, for Dwarf Cepheids in the field and in the globular cluster #3 of the Fornax galaxy.
We present new results on a sample of RR Lyrae variables in the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and report on the first detection of RR Lyrae in the dwarf spheroidal galaxy Leo I. Emphasis is given to the discussion of the distances to these galaxies as derived from their RR Lyrae populations, and of the impact on the “short” and “long” distance scale dichotomy.
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