Faint Stars in a Faint Galaxy: II. The Low Mass Stellar Initial Mass Function of the Bo\"otes I Ultrafaint Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

Carrie Filion, Imants Platais, Rosemary F. G. Wyse, Vera Kozhurina-Platais

Submitted on 21 September 2022


This paper presents improved constraints on the low-mass stellar initial mass function (IMF) of the Bo\"otes I (Boo~I) ultrafaint dwarf galaxy, based on our analysis of recent deep imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope. The identification of candidate stellar members of Boo~I in the photometric catalog produced from these data was achieved using a Bayesian approach, informed by complementary archival imaging data for the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Additionally, the existence of earlier-epoch data for the fields in Boo~I allowed us to derive proper motions for a subset of the sources and thus identify and remove likely Milky Way stars. We were also able to determine the absolute proper motion of Boo~I, and our result is in agreement with, but completely independent of, the measurement(s) by \textit{Gaia}. The best-fitting parameter values of three different forms of the low-mass IMF were then obtained through forward modeling of the color-magnitude data for likely Boo~I member stars within an approximate Bayesian computation Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The best-fitting single power-law IMF slope is α=1.950.28+0.32, while the best-fitting broken power-law slopes are α1=1.670.57+0.48 and α2=2.571.04+0.93. The best-fitting lognormal characteristic mass and width parameters are Mc=0.170.11+0.05M and σ=0.490.20+0.13. These broken power-law and lognormal IMF parameters for Boo~I are consistent with published results for the stars within the Milky Way and thus it is plausible that Bo{\"o}tes I and the Milky Way are populated by the same stellar IMF.


Comment: 27 pages, 14 figures, 4 tables, 3 appendices. Accepted for publication in ApJ

Subjects: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics