We present a detailed analysis of the chemistry and kinematics of red giants in the dwarf irregular galaxy NGC 6822. Spectroscopy at 8500 Angstroms was acquired for 72 red giant stars across two fields using FORS2 at the VLT. Line of sight extinction was individually estimated for each target star to accommodate the variable reddening across NGC 6822. The mean radial velocity was found to be v_helio = (52.8 +/- 2.2) km/s with dispersion rms = 24.1 km/s, in agreement with other studies. Ca II triplet equivalent widths were converted into [Fe/H] metallicities using a V magnitude proxy for surface gravity. The average metallicity was [Fe/H] = (-0.84 +/- 0.04) with dispersion rms = 0.31 dex and interquartile range 0.48. Our assignment of individual reddening values makes our analysis more sensitive to spatial variations in metallicity than previous studies. We divide our sample into metal-rich and metal-poor stars; the former are found to cluster towards small radii with the metal-poor stars more evenly distributed across the galaxy. The velocity dispersion of the metal-poor stars is higher than that of the metal-rich stars; combined with the age-metallicity relation this indicates that older populations have either been dynamically heated or were born in a less disclike distribution. The low ratio (v_rot/v_rms) suggests that within the inner 10′, NGC 6822’s stars are dynamically decoupled from the HI gas, possibly in a thick disc or spheroid.
J. Swan, A. Cole, E. Tolstoy, et. al.
Mon, 8 Feb 16
Comments: 15 pages, 12 figures, includes tabular data