A Tip of the Red Giant Branch Distance to the Dark Matter Deficient Galaxy NGC 1052-DF4 from Deep Hubble Space Telescope Data
Physics and Astronomy
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Previous studies have shown that the large, diffuse galaxies NGC 1052-DF2 and NGC 1052-DF4 both have populations of unusually luminous globular clusters as well as a very low dark matter content. Here we present newly obtained deep Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys imaging of one of these galaxies, NGC 1052-DF4. We use these data to measure the distance of the galaxy from the location of the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB). We find a rapid increase in the number of detected stars fainter than m F814W ∼ 27.3, which we identify as the onset of the red giant branch. Using a forward modeling approach that takes the photometric uncertainties into account, we find a TRGB magnitude of mF 814 W TRGB =27.47 ± 0.16. The inferred distance, including the uncertainty in the absolute calibration, is D TRGB = 20.0 ± 1.6 Mpc. The TRGB distance of NGC 1052-DF4 is consistent with the previously determined surface brightness fluctuation distance of D SBF = 18.7 ± 1.7 Mpc to NGC 1052-DF2 and is consistent with the distance of the bright elliptical galaxy NGC 1052. We conclude that the unusual properties of these galaxies cannot be explained by distance errors.
Shany Danieli, Pieter Van Dokkum, Roberto Abraham, Charlie Conroy, Andrew E. Dolphin, and Aaron J. Romanowsky. "A Tip of the Red Giant Branch Distance to the Dark Matter Deficient Galaxy NGC 1052-DF4 from Deep Hubble Space Telescope Data" Astrophysical Journal Letters (2020). https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/ab8dc4