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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 562-568 (1997)

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

Michael Hilker 1, 2, Dominik J. Bomans 3, 4, Leopoldo Infante 2 and Markus Kissler-Patig 1, 5

1 Sternwarte der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn, Germany (mhilker@astro.uni-bonn.de)
2 Departamento de Astronomia y Astrofisica, P. Universidad Católica, Casilla 104, Santiago 22, Chile
3 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1002 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA (bomans@astro.uiuc.edu)
4 Feodor Lynen-Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Gesellschaft
5 Lick 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 H [FORMULA] 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 [FORMULA] mag and [FORMULA] 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

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: April 6, 1998