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  1. Abstract

    The Magellanic Stream (MS)—an enormous ribbon of gas spanning 140° of the southern sky trailing the Magellanic Clouds—has been exquisitely mapped in the five decades since its discovery. However, despite concerted efforts, no stellar counterpart to the MS has been conclusively identified. This stellar stream would reveal the distance and 6D kinematics of the MS, constraining its formation and the past orbital history of the Clouds. We have been conducting a spectroscopic survey of the most distant and luminous red giant stars in the Galactic outskirts. From this data set, we have discovered a prominent population of 13 stars matching the extreme angular momentum of the Clouds, spanning up to 100° along the MS at distances of 60–120 kpc. Furthermore, these kinematically selected stars lie along an [α/Fe]-deficient track in chemical space from −2.5 < [Fe/H] <− 0.5, consistent with their formation in the Clouds themselves. We identify these stars as high-confidence members of the Magellanic Stellar Stream. Half of these stars are metal-rich and closely follow the gaseous MS, whereas the other half are more scattered and metal-poor. We argue that the metal-rich stream is the recently formed tidal counterpart to the MS, and we speculate that the metal-poor population was thrown out of the SMC outskirts during an earlier interaction between the Clouds. The Magellanic Stellar Stream provides a strong set of constraints—distances, 6D kinematics, and birth locations—that will guide future simulations toward unveiling the detailed history of the Clouds.

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  2. Abstract

    We present spectroscopic data for 16,369 stellar targets within and/or toward 38 dwarf spheroidal galaxies and faint star clusters within the Milky Way halo environment. All spectra come from observations with the multiobject, fiber-fed echelle spectrographs M2FS at the Magellan/Clay telescope or Hectochelle at the MMT, reaching a typical limiting magnitudeG≲ 21. Data products include processed spectra from all observations and catalogs listing estimates—derived from template model fitting—of line-of-sight velocity (median uncertainty 1.4 km s−1) effective temperature (255 K), (base-10 logarithm of) surface gravity (0.59 dex in cgs units), [Fe/H] (0.4 dex) and [Mg/Fe] (0.27 dex) abundance ratios. The sample contains multiepoch measurements for 3720 sources, with up to 15 epochs per source, enabling studies of intrinsic spectroscopic variability. The sample contains 6087 likely red giant stars (based on surface gravity), and 4492 likely members (based on line-of-sight velocity and Gaia-measured proper motion) of the target systems. The number of member stars per individual target system ranges from a few, for the faintest systems, to ∼850 for the most luminous. For most systems, our new samples extend over wider fields than have previously been observed; of the likely members in our samples, 820 lie beyond 2 times the projected half-light radius of their host system, and 42 lie beyond 5Rhalf.

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    We present Magellan/M2FS spectroscopy of four recently discovered Milky Way star clusters (Gran 3/Patchick 125, Gran 4, Garro 01, and LP 866) and two newly discovered open clusters (Gaia 9 and Gaia 10) at low Galactic latitudes. We measure line-of-sight velocities and stellar parameters ([Fe/H], log g, Teff, and [Mg/Fe]) from high-resolution spectroscopy centred on the Mg triplet and identify 20–80 members per star cluster. We determine the kinematics and chemical properties of each cluster and measure the systemic proper motion and orbital properties by utilizing Gaia astrometry. We find Gran 3 to be an old, metal-poor (mean metallicity of [Fe/H] = −1.83) globular cluster located in the Galactic bulge on a retrograde orbit. Gran 4 is an old, metal-poor ([Fe/H] = −1.84) globular cluster with a halo-like orbit that happens to be passing through the Galactic plane. The orbital properties of Gran 4 are consistent with the proposed LMS-1/Wukong and/or Helmi streams merger events. Garro 01 is metal-rich ([Fe/H] = −0.30) and on a near-circular orbit in the outer disc but its classification as an open cluster or globular cluster is ambiguous. Gaia 9 and Gaia 10 are among the most distant known open clusters at $R_{\mathrm{GC}}\sim 18,~21.2~\mathrm{\, kpc}$ and most metal-poor with [Fe/H] ∼−0.50, −0.34 for Gaia 9 and Gaia 10, respectively. LP 866 is a nearby, metal-rich open cluster ([Fe/H] = +0.10). The discovery and confirmation of multiple star clusters in the Galactic plane shows the power of Gaia astrometry and the star cluster census remains incomplete.

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  4. Abstract

    We present the stellar parameters and chemical abundances of 30 elements for five stars located at large radii (3.5–10.7 times the half-light radius) in the Sextans dwarf spheroidal galaxy. We selected these stars using proper motions, radial velocities, and metallicities, and we confirm them as metal-poor members of Sextans with −3.34 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ −2.64 using high-resolution optical spectra collected with the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle spectrograph. Four of the five stars exhibit normal abundances of C (−0.34 ≤ [C/Fe] ≤ + 0.36), mild enhancement of theαelements Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti ([α/Fe] = +0.12 ± 0.03), and unremarkable abundances of Na, Al, K, Sc, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn. We identify three chemical signatures previously unknown among stars in Sextans. One star exhibits large overabundances ([X/Fe] > +1.2) of C, N, O, Na, Mg, Si, and K, and large deficiencies of heavy elements ([Sr/Fe] = −2.37 ± 0.25, [Ba/Fe] = −1.45 ± 0.20, [Eu/Fe] < + 0.05), establishing it as a member of the class of carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars with no enhancement of neutron-capture elements. Three stars exhibit moderate enhancements of Eu (+0.17 ≤ [Eu/Fe] ≤ + 0.70), and the abundance ratios among 12 neutron-capture elements are indicative ofr-process nucleosynthesis. Another star is highly enhanced in Sr relative to heavier elements ([Sr/Ba] = +1.21 ± 0.25). These chemical signatures can all be attributed to massive, low-metallicity stars or their end states. Our results, the first for stars at large radius inSextans, demonstrate that these stars were formed in chemically inhomogeneous regions, such as those found in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies.

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  5. m2fs_HiRes_catalog_public.fits: public catalog of measurements derived from spectroscopic observations of individual targets with the Magellan/M2FS spectrograph in HiRes configuration

    m2fs_MedRes_catalog_public.fits: public catalog of measurements derived from spectroscopic observations of individual targets with the Magellen/M2FS spectrograph in MedRes configuration

    hecto_catalog_public.fits: public catalog of measurements derived from spectroscopic observations of individual targets with the MMT/Hectochelle spectrograph

    fits_files.tar.gz: Supplementary data products, including all sky-subtracted spectra from individual targets and best-fitting model spectra.

    template_spectra.tar.gz: synthetic template spectra (columns are wavelength in air (Angstroms), normalized flux)

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  6. Abstract

    We report the results of an unsupervised decomposition of the local stellar halo in the chemodynamical space spanned by the abundance measurements from APOGEE DR17 and GALAH DR3. In our Gaussian mixture model, only four independent components dominate the halo in the solar neighborhood, three previously known, Aurora, Splash, and Gaia-Sausage/Enceladus (GS/E), and one new, Eos. Only one of these four is of accreted origin, namely, the GS/E, thus supporting the earlier claims that the GS/E is the main progenitor of the Galactic stellar halo. We show that Aurora is entirely consistent with the chemical properties of the so-called Heracles merger. In our analysis in which no predefined chemical selection cuts are applied, Aurora spans a wide range of [Al/Fe] with a metallicity correlation indicative of a fast chemical enrichment in a massive galaxy, the young Milky Way. The new halo component dubbed Eos is classified as in situ given its high mean [Al/Fe]. Eos shows strong evolution as a function of [Fe/H], where it changes from being the closest to GS/E at its lowest [Fe/H] to being indistinguishable from the Galactic low-αpopulation at its highest [Fe/H]. We surmise that at least some of the outer thin disk of the Galaxy started its evolution in the gas polluted by the GS/E, and Eos is evidence of this process.

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  7. Abstract

    We present new radial velocity measurements from the Magellan and the Anglo-Australian Telescopes for 175 previously known and 121 newly confirmed globular clusters (GCs) around NGC 5128, the nearest accessible massive early-type galaxy atD= 3.8 Mpc. Remarkably, 28 of these newly confirmed GCs are at projected radii>50(≳54 kpc), extending to ∼130 kpc, in the outer halo where few GCs had been confirmed in previous work. We identify several subsets of GCs that spatially trace halo substructures that are visible in red giant branch star maps of the galaxy. In some cases, these subsets of GCs are kinematically cold, and may be directly associated with and originate from these specific stellar substructures. From a combined kinematic sample of 645 GCs, we see evidence for coherent rotation at all radii, with a higher rotation amplitude for the metal-rich GC subpopulation. Using the tracer mass estimator, we measure a total enclosed mass of 2.5 ± 0.3 × 1012Mwithin ∼120 kpc, an estimate that will be sharpened with forthcoming dynamical modeling. The combined power of stellar mapping and GC kinematics makes NGC 5128 an ongoing keystone for understanding galaxy assembly at mass scales inaccessible in the Local Group.

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  8. Abstract

    Recent observations of the stellar halo have uncovered the debris of an ancient merger, Gaia–Sausage–Enceladus (GSE), estimated to have occurred ≳8 Gyr ago. Follow-up studies have associated GSE with a large-scale tilt in the stellar halo that links two well-known stellar overdensities in diagonally opposing octants of the Galaxy (the Hercules–Aquila Cloud and Virgo Overdensity; HAC and VOD). In this paper, we study the plausibility of such unmixed merger debris persisting over several gigayears in the Galactic halo. We employ the simulated stellar halo from Naidu et al., which reproduces several key properties of the merger remnant, including the large-scale tilt. By integrating the orbits of these simulated stellar halo particles, we show that adoption of a spherical halo potential results in rapid phase mixing of the asymmetry. However, adopting a tilted halo potential preserves the initial asymmetry in the stellar halo for many gigayears. The asymmetry is preserved even when a realistic growing disk is added to the potential. These results suggest that HAC and VOD are long-lived structures that are associated with GSE and that the dark matter halo of the Galaxy is tilted with respect to the disk and aligned in the direction of HAC–VOD. Such halo–disk misalignment is common in modern cosmological simulations. Lastly, we study the relationship between the local and global stellar halo in light of a tilted global halo comprised of highly radial orbits. We find that the local halo offers a dynamically biased view of the global halo due to its displacement from the Galactic center.

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  9. Abstract The dense central regions of tidally disrupted galaxies can survive as ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs) that hide among the luminous globular clusters (GCs) in the halo of massive galaxies. An exciting confirmation of this model is the detection of overmassive black holes in the centers of some UCDs, which also lead to elevated dynamical mass-to-light ratios ( M / L dyn ). Here we present new high-resolution spectroscopic observations of 321 luminous GC candidates in the massive galaxy NGC 5128/Centaurus A. Using these data we confirm 27 new luminous GCs, and measure velocity dispersions for 57 luminous GCs (with g -band luminosities between 2.5 × 10 5 and 2.5 × 10 7 L ⊙ ), of which 48 are new measurements. Combining these data with size measurements from Gaia, we determine the M / L dyn for all 57 luminous GCs. We see a clear bimodality in the M / L dyn distribution, with a population of normal GCs with mean M / L dyn = 1.51 ± 0.31, and a second population of ∼20 GCs with elevated mean M / L dyn = 2.68 ± 0.22. We show that black holes with masses ∼4%–18% of the luminous GCs can explain the elevated mass-to-light ratios. Hence, it is plausible that the NGC 5128 sources with elevated M / L dyn are mostly stripped galaxy nuclei that contain massive central black holes, though future high spatial resolution observations are necessary to confirm this hypothesis for individual sources. We also present a detailed discussion of an extreme outlier, VHH81-01 , one of the largest and most massive GC in NGC 5128, making it an exceptionally strong candidate to be a tidally stripped nucleus. 
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  10. Abstract

    We report the discovery of Specter, a disrupted ultrafaint dwarf galaxy revealed by the H3 Spectroscopic Survey. We detected this structure via a pair of comoving metal-poor stars at a distance of 12.5 kpc, and further characterized it with Gaia astrometry and follow-up spectroscopy. Specter is a 25° × 1° stream of stars that is entirely invisible until strict kinematic cuts are applied to remove the Galactic foreground. The spectroscopic members suggest a stellar ageτ≳ 12 Gyr and a mean metallicity[Fe/H]=1.840.18+0.16, with a significant intrinsic metallicity dispersionσ[Fe/H]=0.370.13+0.21. We therefore argue that Specter is the disrupted remnant of an ancient dwarf galaxy. With an integrated luminosityMV≈ −2.6, Specter is by far the least-luminous dwarf galaxy stream known. We estimate that dozens of similar streams are lurking below the detection threshold of current search techniques, and conclude that spectroscopic surveys offer a novel means to identify extremely low surface brightness structures.

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