We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

The missing dwarf galaxies of the Local Group.

Fattahi, Azadeh and Navarro, Julio F. and Frenk, Carlos S. (2020) 'The missing dwarf galaxies of the Local Group.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 493 (2). pp. 2596-2605.


We study the Local Group (LG) dwarf galaxy population predicted by the APOSTLE ΛCDM cosmological hydrodynamics simulations. These indicate that: (i) the total mass within 3 Mpc of the Milky Way-Andromeda midpoint (M3Mpc) typically exceeds ∼3 times the sum of the virial masses (M200crit) of the two primaries and (ii) the dwarf galaxy formation efficiency per unit mass is uniform throughout the volume. This suggests that the satellite population within the virial radii of the Milky Way and Andromeda should make up fewer than one third of all LG dwarfs within 3 Mpc. This is consistent with the fraction of observed LG galaxies with stellar mass M* > 107 M⊙ that are satellites (12 out of 42; i.e., 28 per cent). For the APOSTLE galaxy mass-halo mass relation, the total number of such galaxies further suggests a LG mass of M3Mpc ∼ 1013 M⊙. At lower galaxy masses, however, the observed satellite fraction is substantially higher (42 per cent for M* > 105 M⊙). If this is due to incompleteness in the field sample, then ∼50 dwarf galaxies at least as massive as the Draco dwarf spheroidal must be missing from the current LG field dwarf inventory. The incompleteness interpretation is supported by the pronounced flattening of the LG luminosity function below M* ∼ 107 M⊙, and by the scarcity of low-surface brightness LG field galaxies compared to satellites. The simulations indicate that most missing dwarfs should lie near the virial boundaries of the two LG primaries, and predict a trove of nearby dwarfs that await discovery by upcoming wide-field imaging surveys.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:05 February 2020
Date deposited:11 February 2020
Date of first online publication:10 February 2020
Date first made open access:06 March 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar