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  1. ABSTRACT

    K2 was a community-driven NASA mission where all targets were proposed through guest observer programmes. Here we provide an overview of one of the largest of these endeavours, the K2 Galactic Archaeology Programme (K2GAP), with about 25 per cent of the observed targets being allocated to this programme. K2GAP provides asteroseismic parameters for about 23 000 giant stars across the Galaxy, which together with spectroscopic stellar parameters can give age and masses of stars. We discuss in detail the target selection procedure and provide a python program that implements the selection function (github.com/sanjibs/k2gap). Broadly speaking, the targets were selected on 2MASS colour J − Ks > 0.5, with finely tuned adjustments for each campaign. We discuss the detection completeness of the asteroseismic parameters νmax and Δν. About 14 per cent of giants were found to miss νmax detections and it was difficult to detect Δν for RC stars. Making use of the selection function, we compare the observed distribution of asteroseismic masses to theoretical predictions. The median asteroseismic mass is higher by about 4 per cent compared to predictions. We provide a selection-function-matched mock catalogue of stars based on a synthetic model of the Galaxy for the community to use in subsequent analyses of the K2GAPmore »data set (physics.usyd.edu.au/k2gap/download/).

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  2. ABSTRACT

    We study environmental quenching using the spatial distribution of current star formation and stellar population ages with the full SAMI Galaxy Survey. By using a star formation concentration index [C-index, defined as log10(r50, H α/r50, cont)], we separate our sample into regular galaxies (C-index ≥−0.2) and galaxies with centrally concentrated star formation (SF-concentrated; C-index <−0.2). Concentrated star formation is a potential indicator of galaxies currently undergoing ‘outside-in’ quenching. Our environments cover ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups (M200 ≤ 1012.5M⊙), high-mass groups (M200 in the range 1012.5–14 M⊙) and clusters (M200 > 1014M⊙). We find the fraction of SF-concentrated galaxies increases as halo mass increases by 9 ± 2 per cent, 8 ± 3 per cent, 19 ± 4 per cent, and 29 ± 4 per cent for ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups, high-mass groups, and clusters, respectively. We interpret these results as evidence for ‘outside-in’ quenching in groups and clusters. To investigate the quenching time-scale in SF-concentrated galaxies, we calculate light-weighted age (AgeL) and mass-weighted age (AgeM) using full spectral fitting, as well as the Dn4000 and HδA indices. We assume that the average galaxy age radial profile before entering a group or cluster is similar to ungrouped regular galaxies. At large radius (1–2 Re), SF-concentrated galaxies in high-mass groups have older ages than ungrouped regularmore »galaxies with an age difference of 1.83 ± 0.38 Gyr for AgeL and 1.34 ± 0.56 Gyr for AgeM. This suggests that while ‘outside-in’ quenching can be effective in groups, the process will not quickly quench the entire galaxy. In contrast, the ages at 1–2 Re of cluster SF-concentrated galaxies and ungrouped regular galaxies are consistent (difference of 0.19 ± 0.21 Gyr for AgeL, 0.40 ± 0.61 Gyr for AgeM), suggesting the quenching process must be rapid.

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  3. ABSTRACT

    Using data from the SAMI Galaxy Survey, we investigate the correlation between the projected stellar kinematic spin vector of 1397 SAMI galaxies and the line-of-sight motion of their neighbouring galaxies. We calculate the luminosity-weighted mean velocity difference between SAMI galaxies and their neighbours in the direction perpendicular to the SAMI galaxies’ angular momentum axes. The luminosity-weighted mean velocity offset between SAMI galaxies and neighbours, which indicates the signal of coherence between the rotation of the SAMI galaxies and the motion of neighbours, is 9.0 ± 5.4 km s−1 (1.7σ) for neighbours within 1 Mpc. In a large-scale analysis, we find that the average velocity offsets increase for neighbours out to 2 Mpc. However, the velocities are consistent with zero or negative for neighbours outside 3 Mpc. The negative signals for neighbours at a distance around 10 Mpc are also significant at the ∼2σ level, which indicate that the positive signals within 2 Mpc might come from the variance of large-scale structure. We also calculate average velocities of different subsamples, including galaxies in different regions of the sky, galaxies with different stellar masses, galaxy type, λRe, and inclination. Although subsamples of low-mass, high-mass, early-type, and low-spin galaxies show the 2–3σ signal of coherencemore »for the neighbours within 2 Mpc, the results for different inclination subsamples and large-scale results suggest that the ∼2σ signals might result from coincidental scatter or variance of large-scale structure. Overall, the modest evidence of coherence signals for neighbouring galaxies within 2 Mpc needs to be confirmed by larger samples of observations and simulation studies.

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  4. Abstract We report the kinematic, orbital, and chemical properties of 12 stellar streams with no evident progenitors using line-of-sight velocities and metallicities from the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey ( S 5 ), proper motions from Gaia EDR3, and distances derived from distance tracers or the literature. This data set provides the largest homogeneously analyzed set of streams with full 6D kinematics and metallicities. All streams have heliocentric distances between ∼10 and 50 kpc. The velocity and metallicity dispersions show that half of the stream progenitors were disrupted dwarf galaxies (DGs), while the other half originated from disrupted globular clusters (GCs), hereafter referred to as DG and GC streams. Based on the mean metallicities of the streams and the mass–metallicity relation, the luminosities of the progenitors of the DG streams range between those of Carina and Ursa Major I (−9.5 ≲ M V ≲ −5.5). Four of the six GC streams have mean metallicities of [Fe/H] < −2, more metal poor than typical Milky Way (MW) GCs at similar distances. Interestingly, the 300S and Jet GC streams are the only streams on retrograde orbits in our dozen-stream sample. Finally, we compare the orbital properties of the streams with known DGsmore »and GCs in the MW, finding several possible associations. Some streams appear to have been accreted with the recently discovered Gaia–Enceladus–Sausage system, and others suggest that GCs were formed in and accreted together with the progenitors of DG streams whose stellar masses are similar to those of Draco to Carina (∼10 5 –10 6 M ⊙ ).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Abstract Stellar streams are excellent probes of the underlying gravitational potential in which they evolve. In this work, we fit dynamical models to five streams in the Southern Galactic hemisphere, combining observations from the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey ( S 5 ), Gaia EDR3, and the Dark Energy Survey, to measure the mass of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). With an ensemble of streams, we find a mass of the LMC ranging from ∼14–19 × 10 10 M ⊙ , probed over a range of closest approach times and distances. With the most constraining stream (Orphan–Chenab), we measure an LMC mass of 18.8 − 4.0 + 3.5 × 10 10 M ⊙ , probed at a closest approach time of 310 Myr and a closest approach distance of 25.4 kpc. This mass is compatible with previous measurements, showing that a consistent picture is emerging of the LMC’s influence on structures in the Milky Way. Using this sample of streams, we find that the LMC’s effect depends on the relative orientation of the stream and LMC at their point of closest approach. To better understand this, we present a simple model based on the impulse approximation and we show thatmore »the LMC’s effect depends both on the magnitude of the velocity kick imparted to the stream and the direction of this kick.« less
  6. ABSTRACT Until the recent advent of Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2) and deep multi-object spectroscopy, it has been difficult to obtain 6D phase space information for large numbers of stars beyond 4 kpc, in particular towards the Galactic Centre, where dust and crowding are significant. We combine line-of-sight velocities from the Abundances and Radial velocity Galactic Origins Survey (ARGOS) with proper motions from Gaia DR2 to obtain a sample of ∼7000 red clump stars with 3D velocities. We perform a large-scale stellar kinematics study of the Milky Way bulge to characterize the bulge velocity ellipsoids in 20 fields. The tilt of the major-axis of the velocity ellipsoid in the radial-longitudinal velocity plane, or vertex deviation, is characteristic of non-axisymmetric systems and a significant tilt is a robust indicator of non-axisymmetry or bar presence. We compare the observations to the predicted kinematics of an N-body boxy-bulge model formed from dynamical instabilities. In the model, the lv values are strongly correlated with the angle (α) between the bulge major-axis and the Sun-Galactic centre line of sight. We use a maximum likelihood method to obtain an independent measurement of α, from bulge stellar kinematics alone, performing a robust error analysis. The most likely valuemore »of α given our model is α = (29 ± 3)○, with an additional systematic uncertainty due to comparison with one specific model. In Baade’s window, the metal-rich stars display a larger vertex deviation (lv = −40○) than the metal-poor stars (lv = 10○) but we do not detect significant lv−metallicity trends in the other fields.« less
  7. ABSTRACT The kinematic morphology–density relation of galaxies is normally attributed to a changing distribution of galaxy stellar masses with the local environment. However, earlier studies were largely focused on slow rotators; the dynamical properties of the overall population in relation to environment have received less attention. We use the SAMI Galaxy Survey to investigate the dynamical properties of ∼1800 early and late-type galaxies with log (M⋆/M⊙) > 9.5 as a function of mean environmental overdensity (Σ5) and their rank within a group or cluster. By classifying galaxies into fast and slow rotators, at fixed stellar mass above log (M⋆/M⊙) > 10.5, we detect a higher fraction (∼3.4σ) of slow rotators for group and cluster centrals and satellites as compared to isolated-central galaxies. We find similar results when using Σ5 as a tracer for environment. Focusing on the fast-rotator population, we also detect a significant correlation between galaxy kinematics and their stellar mass as well as the environment they are in. Specifically, by using inclination-corrected or intrinsic $\lambda _{R_{\rm {e}}}$ values, we find that, at fixed mass, satellite galaxies on average have the lowest $\lambda _{\, R_{\rm {e}},\rm {intr}}$, isolated-central galaxies have the highest $\lambda _{\, R_{\rm {e}},\rm {intr}}$, and group and clustermore »centrals lie in between. Similarly, galaxies in high-density environments have lower mean $\lambda _{\, R_{\rm {e}},\rm {intr}}$ values as compared to galaxies at low environmental density. However, at fixed Σ5, the mean $\lambda _{\, R_{\rm {e}},\rm {intr}}$ differences for low and high-mass galaxies are of similar magnitude as when varying Σ5 ($\Delta \lambda _{\, R_{\rm {e}},\rm {intr}} \sim 0.05$, with σrandom = 0.025, and σsyst < 0.03). Our results demonstrate that after stellar mass, environment plays a significant role in the creation of slow rotators, while for fast rotators we also detect an independent, albeit smaller, impact of mass and environment on their kinematic properties.« less
  8. ABSTRACT Surveys of the Milky Way (MW) and M31 enable detailed studies of stellar populations across ages and metallicities, with the goal of reconstructing formation histories across cosmic time. These surveys motivate key questions for galactic archaeology in a cosmological context: When did the main progenitor of an MW/M31-mass galaxy form, and what were the galactic building blocks that formed it? We investigate the formation times and progenitor galaxies of MW/M31-mass galaxies using the Feedback In Realistic Environments-2 cosmological simulations, including six isolated MW/M31-mass galaxies and six galaxies in Local Group (LG)-like pairs at z = 0. We examine main progenitor ‘formation’ based on two metrics: (1) transition from primarily ex-situ to in-situ stellar mass growth and (2) mass dominance compared to other progenitors. We find that the main progenitor of an MW/M31-mass galaxy emerged typically at z ∼ 3–4 ($11.6\!\!-\!\!12.2\, \rm {Gyr}$ ago), while stars in the bulge region (inner 2 kpc) at z = 0 formed primarily in a single main progenitor at z ≲ 5 (${\lesssim} \!12.6\, \rm {Gyr}$ ago). Compared with isolated hosts, the main progenitors of LG-like paired hosts emerged significantly earlier (Δz ∼ 2, $\Delta t\!\sim \!1.6\, \rm {Gyr}$), with ∼4× higher stellar mass at all zmore »≳ 4 (${\gtrsim} \!12.2\, \rm {Gyr}$ ago). This highlights the importance of environment in MW/M31-mass galaxy formation, especially at early times. On average, about 100 galaxies with $\rm {\it{ M}}_\rm {star}\!\gtrsim \!10^5\, \rm {M}_\odot$ went into building a typical MW/M31-mass system. Thus, surviving satellites represent a highly incomplete census (by ∼5×) of the progenitor population.« less