Illuminating Low-Surface-Brightness Galaxies with the Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey [GA]

We present our catalog of extended low-surface-brightness galaxies (LSBGs) identified in the Wide layer of the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program (HSC-SSP). Using the first ${\sim}$200 deg$^2$ of the survey, we have uncovered a rich diversity of LSB phenomena, including red ($g-i\geq0.64$) and blue ($g-i<0.64$) LSBGs with a wide range of morphologies, tidal debris from galaxy interactions, and cirrus emission from Galactic dust. We publish a catalog of 781 LSBGs, which, because we focus on angularly extended galaxies ($r_\mathrm{eff}=2.5$-$14^{\prime\prime}$), is likely dominated by low-redshift objects. We define LSBGs to have mean surface brightnesses $\bar{\mu}_\mathrm{eff}(g)>24.3$ mag arcsec$^{-2}$, which allows nucleated galaxies into our sample. As a result, the central surface brightness distribution spans a wide range of $\mu_0(g)=18$-$27.4$ mag arcsec$^{-2}$, with 50% and 95% of galaxies fainter than 24.3 and 22 mag arcsec$^{-2}$, respectively. Furthermore, the mean surface brightness distribution is a strong function of color, with the red distribution being much broader and generally fainter than that of the blue LSBGs, and this trend shows a clear correlation with galaxy morphology. Red LSBGs typically have smooth light profiles that are well-characterized by single-component S\'{e}rsic functions. In contrast, blue LSBGs tend to have irregular morphologies and show evidence for ongoing star formation. We crossmatch our sample with existing optical, HI, and ultraviolet catalogs to gain insight into the physical nature of the LSBGs. We find that our sample is diverse, with galaxies ranging from dwarf spheroidals and ultra-diffuse galaxies in nearby groups to gas-rich (physically large) irregulars to giant LSB spirals, demonstrating the potential of the HSC-SSP to provide a truly unprecedented view of the galaxy population at low surface brightnesses.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Greco, J. Greene, M. Strauss, et. al.
Fri, 15 Sep 17

Comments: 20 pages, 13 figures, 1 table; submitted to ApJ; comments welcome