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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 562-568

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NGC 1427A - an LMC type galaxy in the Fornax cluster

Michael Hilker1,2, Dominik J. Bomans3,4, Leopoldo Infante2, and Markus Kissler-Patig1,5

1Sternwarte der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn, Germany (mhilker@astro.uni-bonn.de)
2Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, P. Universidad Católica, Casilla 104, Santiago 22, Chile
3University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1002 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA (bomans@astro.uiuc.edu)
4Feodor Lynen-Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Gesellschaft
5Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA

Received 22 May 1997 / Accepted 10 July 1997


We have discovered that the Fornax irregular galaxy NGC 1427A is in very many respects a twin of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Based on B, V, I, and HFORMULA images, we find the following. The light of the galaxy is dominated by high surface brightness regions in the south-west that are superimposed by a half-ring of OB associations and H II regions indicating recent star formation. The colors of the main stellar body are (V-I) = 0.8 mag and (B-V) = 0.4 mag, comparable to the LMC colors. A low surface brightness cloud north of the main body as well as a LSB tail in the west have colors (FORMULA mag) that are more typical for blue compact dwarf galaxies. We identified a system of cluster candidates with mean ages FORMULA 2 Gyr (assuming a LMC metallicity) comprising the richest cluster system in an irregular galaxy observed up to now outside the Local Group. In X-ray wavelengths NGC 1427A appears with a relatively soft and complex spectrum.

Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 1427A - galaxies: irregular - galaxies: photometry - galaxies: star clusters - X-rays: galaxies

Send offprint requests to: Michael Hilker

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 14, 1997
Last change: April 6, 1998