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A unique isolated dwarf spheroidal galaxy at D = 1.9 Mpc




We present a photometric and spectroscopic study of the unique isolated nearby dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy KKR 25. The galaxy was resolved into stars with Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 including old red giant branch and red clump. We have constructed a model of the resolved stellar populations and measured the star formation rate and metallicity as a function of time. The main star formation activity period occurred about 12.6–13.7 Gyr ago. These stars are mostly metal poor, with a mean metallicity [Fe/H] ∼ −1 to −1.6 dex. About 60 per cent of the total stellar mass was formed during this event. There are indications of intermediate-age star formation in KKR 25 between 1 and 4 Gyr with no significant signs of metal enrichment for these stars. Long-slit spectroscopy was carried out using the Russian 6-m telescope of the integrated starlight and bright individual objects in the galaxy. We have discovered a planetary nebula (PN) in KKR 25. This is the first known PN in a dSph galaxy outside the Local Group. We have measured its oxygen abundance 12 + log (O/H) = 7.60 ± 0.07 dex and a radial velocity Vh = −79 km s−1. We have analysed the stellar density distribution in the galaxy body. The galaxy has an exponential surface brightness profile with a central light depression. We discuss the evolutionary status of KKR 25, which belongs to a rare class of very isolated dwarf galaxies with spheroidal morphology.