Dwarf galaxies play a key role in probing the dynamics of the Milky Way, the history of star formation in the Local Group, and the accretion/retention of gas in dark matter halos at the smallest scales of galaxy formation. We use the UNIONS wide-field photometric dataset to complete a systematic analysis of 3600 sq. deg. of sky in search of new dwarf galaxies within 1 Mpc of the Milky Way. This search aims to detect ultra-faint Milky Way satellites, M31 satellites, and nearby, isolated dwarf galaxies using a matched-filter algorithm. In this talk, I will present an overview of the discovery history of dwarf galaxies, and highlight some of the challenges being presented as we find continually fainter systems. I will then present on our progress so far, including the discovery of a new ultra faint Milky Way satellite dwarf galaxy, a new faint star cluster, and report on the follow-up of numerous high confidence candidate detections.
Speaker: Simon Smith (University of Victoria, Canada)