Exploring Halo Substructure with Giant Stars. XV. Discovery of a Connection between the Monoceros Ring and the Triangulum-Andromeda Overdensity? [GA]


Thanks to modern sky surveys, over twenty stellar streams and overdensity structures have been discovered in the halo of the Milky Way. In this paper, we present an analysis of spectroscopic observations of individual stars from one such structure, “A13”, first identified as an overdensity using the M giant catalog from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey. Our spectroscopic observations show that A13 has a velocity dispersion of $\lesssim$ 40 $\mathrm{km~s^{-1}}$, implying that it is a genuine coherent structure rather than a chance super-position of random halo stars. From its position on the sky, distance ($\sim$15 kpc heliocentric), and kinematic properties, A13 is likely to be an extension of another low Galactic latitude substructure — the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure (also known as the Monoceros Ring) — towards smaller Galactic longitude and farther distance. Furthermore, the kinematics of A13 also connect it with another structure in the southern Galactic hemisphere — the Triangulum-Andromeda overdensity. We discuss these three connected structures within a previously proposed scenario that one or all of these features originate from the disk of the Milky Way.

Read this paper on arXiv…

T. Li, A. Sheffield, K. Johnston, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures. Submitted to AAS Journal

DGSAT: Dwarf Galaxy Survey with Amateur Telescopes II. A catalogue of isolated nearby edge-on disk galaxies and the discovery of new low surface brightness systems [GA]


The connection between the bulge mass or bulge luminosity in disk galaxies and the number, spatial and phase space distribution of associated dwarf galaxies is a discriminator between cosmological simulations related to galaxy formation in cold dark matter and generalized gravity models. Here, a nearby sample of isolated Milky Way class edge-on galaxies is introduced, to facilitate observational campaigns to detect the associated families of dwarf galaxies at low surface brightness. Three galaxy pairs with at least one of the targets being edge-on are also introduced. About 60% of the catalogued isolated galaxies contain bulges of different size, while the remaining objects appear to be bulge-less. Deep images of NGC 3669 (small bulge, with NGC 3625 at the edge of the image) and NGC 7814 (prominent bulge), obtained with a 0.4-m aperture, are also presented, resulting in the discovery of two new dwarf galaxy candidates, NGC3669-DGSAT-3 and NGC7814-DGSAT-7. Eleven additional low surface brightness galaxies are identified, previously notified with low quality measurement flags in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Integrated magnitudes, surface brightnesses, effective radii, Sersic indices, axis ratios, and projected distances to their putative major hosts are displayed. At least one of the galaxies, NGC3625-DGSAT-4, belongs with a surface brightness of approximately 26 mag per arcsec^2 and effective radius >1.5 kpc to the class of ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs). NGC3669-DGSAT-3, the galaxy with lowest surface brightness in our sample, may also be an UDG.

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. Henkel, B. Javanmardi, D. Martinez-Delgado, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 12 pages including 6 figures, 4 tables, a brief appendix, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A)

Falling outer rotation curves of star-forming galaxies at 0.6 < z < 2.6 probed with KMOS^3D and SINS/ZC-SINF [GA]


We exploit the deep resolved Halpha kinematic data from the KMOS^3D and SINS/zC-SINF surveys to examine the largely unexplored outer disk kinematics of star-forming galaxies (SFGs) out to the peak of cosmic star formation. Our sample contains 101 SFGs representative of the more massive (9.3 < log(M*/Msun) < 11.5) main sequence population at 0.6<z<2.6. Through a novel stacking approach we are able to constrain a representative rotation curve extending out to ~4 effective radii. This average rotation curve exhibits a significant drop in rotation velocity beyond the turnover, with a slope of Delta(V)/Delta(R) = $-0.26^{+0.10}_{-0.09}$ in units of normalized coordinates V/V_max and R/R_turn. This result confirms that the fall-off seen previously in some individual galaxies is a common feature of our sample of high-z disks. We show that this outer fall-off strikingly deviates from the flat or mildly rising rotation curves of local spiral galaxies of similar masses. We furthermore compare our data with models including baryons and dark matter demonstrating that the falling stacked rotation curve can be explained by a high mass fraction of baryons relative to the total dark matter halo (m_d>~0.05) in combination with a sizeable level of pressure support in the outer disk. These findings are in agreement with recent studies demonstrating that star-forming disks at high redshift are strongly baryon dominated within the disk scale, and furthermore suggest that pressure gradients caused by large turbulent gas motions are present even in their outer disks. We demonstrate that these results are largely independent of our model assumptions such as the presence of a central stellar bulge, the effect of adiabatic contraction at fixed m_d, and variations in the concentration parameter.

Read this paper on arXiv…

P. Lang, N. Schreiber, R. Genzel, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to the Astrophysical Journal

Magnetic Ribbons: A Minimum Hypothesis Model for Filaments [GA]


We develop a magnetic ribbon model for molecular cloud filaments. These result from turbulent compression in a molecular cloud in which the background magnetic field sets a preferred direction. We use our model to calculate a synthetic observed relation between apparent width in projection versus observed column density. The relationship is relatively flat, in rough agreement with the observations, and unlike the simple expectation based on a Jeans length argument.

Read this paper on arXiv…

S. Auddy, S. Basu and T. Kudoh
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 2 pages, 1 figure, to appear in proceedings of SFDE conference, eds. D. Johnstone, T. Hoang, F. Nakamura, Q. Nguyen Luong, and J. Tran Tranh Van

NGC 3105: A Young Cluster in the Outer Galaxy [GA]


Images and spectra of the open cluster NGC 3105 have been obtained with GMOS on Gemini South. The (i’, g’-i’) color-magnitude diagram (CMD) constructed from these data extends from the brightest cluster members to g’~23. This is 4 – 5 mag fainter than previous CMDs at visible wavelengths and samples cluster members with sub-solar masses. Assuming a half-solar metallicity, comparisons with isochrones yield a distance of 6.6+/-0.3 kpc. An age of at least 32 Myr is found based on the photometric properties of the brightest stars, coupled with the apparent absence of pre-main sequence stars in the lower regions of the CMD. The luminosity function of stars between 50 and 70 arcsec from the cluster center is consistent with a Chabrier lognormal mass function. However, at radii smaller than 50 arcsec there is a higher specific frequency of the most massive main sequence stars than at larger radii. Photometry obtained from archival SPITZER images reveals that some of the brightest stars near NGC 3105 have excess infrared emission, presumably from warm dust envelopes. Halpha emission is detected in a few early-type stars in and around the cluster, building upon previous spectroscopic observations that found Be stars near NGC 3105. The equivalent width of the NaD lines in the spectra of early type stars is consistent with the reddening found from comparisons with isochrones. Stars with i’~18.5 that fall near the cluster main sequence have a spectral-type A5V, and a distance modulus that is consistent with that obtained by comparing isochrones with the CMD is found assuming solar neighborhood intrinsic brightnesses for these stars.

Read this paper on arXiv…

T. Davidge
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: To appear in The Astrophysical Journal

The HI content of isolated ultra-diffuse galaxies: a sign of multiple formation mechanisms? [GA]


We report on the results of radio observations in the 21cm emission line of atomic hydrogen (HI) of four relatively isolated ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs): DGSAT I, R-127-1, M-161-1, and SECCO-dI-2. Our Effelsberg observations resulted in non-detections for the first three UDGS, and a clear detection for the last. DGSAT I, R-127-1, and M-161-1 are quiescent galaxies with gas fractions that are much lower than those of typical field galaxies of the same stellar mass. On the other hand, SECCO-dI-2 is a star forming gas-rich dwarf, similar to two other field UDGs that have literature HI data: SECCO-dI-1 and UGC 2162. This group of three gas-rich UDGs have stellar and gaseous properties that are compatible with a recently proposed theoretical mechanism for the formation of UDGs, based on feedback-driven outflows. In contrast, the physical characteristics of R-127-1 and M-161-1 are puzzling, given their isolated nature. We interpret this dichotomy in the gaseous properties of field UDGs as a sign of the existence of multiple mechanisms for their formation, with the formation of the quiescent gas-poor UDGs remaining a mystery.

Read this paper on arXiv…

E. Papastergis, E. Adams and A. Romanowsky
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to A&A letters. 4 pages, 2 figures, 1 table

A probabilistic approach to the N-body problem [GA]


This work introduces a new interpretation of the gravitational N-body problem, based on the one-point probability density {\Psi} of finding a particle at a given loca- tion of phase space (x, v) at time t and the associated expected phase-space $\bar{f}$(x, v, t) = M {\Psi}(x, v, t), where M is the total mass of the system. At variance with the traditional paradigm, we consider that the problem is inherently stochastic, and therefore $\bar{f}$ corresponds to a weighted average over all possible random realisations of the initial conditions. In practice, we run several numerical experiments in one dimension where $\bar{f}$(x, v, t), and thus {\Psi}(x, v, t), are estimated from the average of a finite number S of independent simulations with N particles each. The proposed approach is extremely efficient from a computational point of view, with modest CPU and memory requirements, and it provides a very competitive alternative to traditional N-body simulations when the goal is to study the average properties of N-body systems, at the cost of abandoning the notion of well-defined trajectories for each individual particle.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Romero and Y. Ascasibar
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 12 pages, 5 figures