Triangulum II: Not Especially Dense After All [GA]

Among the Milky Way satellites discovered in the past three years, Triangulum II has presented the most difficulty in revealing its dynamical status. Kirby et al. (2015a) identified it as the most dark matter-dominated galaxy known, with a mass-to-light ratio within the half-light radius of 3600 +3500 -2100 M_sun/L_sun. On the other hand, Martin et al. (2016) measured an outer velocity dispersion that is 3.5 +/- 2.1 times larger than the central velocity dispersion, suggesting that the system might not be in equilibrium. From new multi-epoch Keck/DEIMOS measurements of 13 member stars in Triangulum II, we constrain the velocity dispersion to be sigma_v < 3.4 km/s (90% C.L.). Our previous measurement of sigma_v, based on six stars, was inflated by the presence of a binary star with variable radial velocity. We find no evidence that the velocity dispersion increases with radius. The stars display a wide range of metallicities, indicating that Triangulum II retained supernova ejecta and therefore possesses or once possessed a massive dark matter halo. However, the detection of a metallicity dispersion hinges on the membership of the two most metal-rich stars. The stellar mass is lower than galaxies of similar mean stellar metallicity, which might indicate that Triangulum II is either a star cluster or a tidally stripped dwarf galaxy. Detailed abundances of one star show heavily depressed neutron-capture abundances, similar to stars in most other ultra-faint dwarf galaxies but unlike stars in globular clusters.

Read this paper on arXiv…

E. Kirby, J. Cohen, J. Simon, et. al.
Fri, 10 Mar 17

Comments: accepted to ApJ, Table 5 available as a machine-readable table by clicking on “Other formats” on the right