AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 26 Galaxy Evolution
Oral, Monday, January 5, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Regency VII

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[26.05] Observational Constraints on Faint Galaxy Formation in the Local Group Using SDSS

B. Willman (University of Washington, NYU), J. J. Dalcanton (University of Washington)

There is substantial observational evidence for an incompleteness in the existing Milky Way dwarf galaxy census. This ill-defined incompleteness has hindered attempts to resolve the substructure problem, as models that match the observed number of Milky Way dwarf companions may actually underpredict the underlying population by a factor of 2 or more. We thus reassess the substructure problem in the context of a new survey for resolved Milky Way dwarf galaxies. We present detection limits of the survey updated from those published in Willman et al (2002). This survey is sensitive to dwarfs similar to and fainter than any among the known population, at any distance out to the Milky Way's virial radius and at any latitude to be observed by SDSS. The detection limits of this survey provide the first quantitative constraints on the very faint end of the galaxy luminosity function. We use several models, both empirical and theoretical, to predict the number of dwarfs to which this survey will be sensitive. We also evaluate the prospects for High-Velocity Clouds belonging to "missing" dark matter halos, and for High-Velocity Clouds hosting an observable stellar population.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.