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

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

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15 Scopus citations


We present wide and deep photometry of the northwestern part of the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) using Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope. The survey covers a 9.2 deg2 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 Northwestern (NW) Stream, and a diffuse substructure in the southern part of our survey field. We estimate the distances based on the RC method and obtain = 24.63 ± 0.191 (random) ± 0.057 (systematic) and 24.29 ± 0.211 (random) ± 0.057 (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 of it. We also estimate line-of-sight distances along the NW Stream and find that the southern part of the stream is ∼20 kpc closer to us relative to the northern part. The distance to the NW Stream inferred from the isochrone fitting to the color-magnitude diagram favors the RC-based distance, but the tip of the RGB (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 an FWHM of ∼25 arcmin (5.7 kpc), with a slight skew to the southwest side. That along the NW Stream shows a complicated structure, including variations in number density and a significant gap in the stream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • galaxies: halos
  • galaxies: individual (M31)
  • galaxies: structure


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