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  1. Abstract We present Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy of the first complete sample of ultradiffuse galaxies (UDGs) in the Virgo cluster. We select all UDGs in Virgo that contain at least 10 globular cluster (GC) candidates and are more than 2.5 σ outliers in scaling relations of size, surface brightness, and luminosity (a total of 10 UDGs). We use the radial velocity of their GC satellites to measure the velocity dispersion of each UDG. We find a mixed bag of galaxies, from one UDG that shows no signs of dark matter, to UDGs that follow the luminosity–dispersion relation of early-type galaxies, to the most extreme examples of heavily dark matter–dominated galaxies that break well-known scaling relations such as the luminosity–dispersion or U-shaped total mass-to-light ratio relations. This is indicative of a number of mechanisms at play forming these peculiar galaxies. Some of them may be the most extended version of dwarf galaxies, while others are so extreme that they seem to populate dark matter halos consistent with that of the Milky Way or even larger. Even though Milky Way stars and other GC interlopers contaminating our sample of GCs cannot be fully ruled out, our assessment of this potential problem and simulations indicatemore »that the probability is low and, if present, unlikely to be enough to explain the extreme dispersions measured. Further confirmation from stellar kinematics studies in these UDGs would be desirable. The lack of such extreme objects in any of the state-of-the-art simulations opens an exciting avenue of new physics shaping these galaxies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. ABSTRACT We present a post-processing catalogue of globular clusters (GCs) for the 39 most massive groups and clusters in the TNG50 simulation of the IlllustrisTNG project (virial masses $M_{200} =[5\times 10^{12} \rm {\!-\!} 2 \times 10^{14}$] M⊙). We tag GC particles to all galaxies with stellar mass M* ≥ 5 × 106 M⊙, and we calibrate their masses to reproduce the observed power-law relation between GC mass and halo mass for galaxies with M200 ≥ 1011 M⊙ (corresponding to M* ∼ 109 M⊙). Here, we explore whether an extrapolation of this MGC–M200 relation to lower mass dwarfs is consistent with current observations. We find a good agreement between our predicted number and specific frequency of GCs in dwarfs with $\rm {\it M}_*=[5 \times 10^6 \rm {\!-\!} 10^9]$ M⊙ and observations. Moreover, we predict a steep decline in the GC occupation fraction for dwarfs with M* < 109 M⊙ that agrees well with current observational constraints. This declining occupation fraction is due to a combination of tidal stripping in all dwarfs plus a stochastic sampling of the GC mass function for dwarfs with M* < 107.5 M⊙. Our simulations also reproduce available constraints on the abundance of intracluster GCs in Virgo and Centaurus A. These successesmore »provide support to the hypothesis that the MGC–M200 relation holds, albeit with more scatter, all the way down to the regime of classical dwarf spheroidals in these environments. Our GC catalogues are publicly available as part of the IllustrisTNG data release.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 26, 2023
  3. Evans, Christopher J. ; Bryant, Julia J. ; Motohara, Kentaro (Ed.)
    We present the current design of WFOS, a wide-field UV/optical (0.31-1.0 µm) imaging spectrograph planned for first-light on the TMT International Observatory 30 m telescope. WFOS is optimized for high sensitivity across the entire optical waveband for low-to-moderate resolution (R ∼ 1500-5000) long-slit and multi-slit spectroscopy of very faint targets over a contiguous field of view of 8′ .3×3 ′ .0 at the f/15 Nasmyth focus of TMT. A key design goal for WFOS is stability and repeatability in all observing modes, made possible by its gravity-invariant opto-mechanical structure, with a vertical rotation axis and all reconfigurable components moving only in planes defined by tiered optical benches parallel to the Nasmyth platform. WFOS’s optics include a linear ADC correcting a 9′ diameter field, including both the science FoV and 4 patrolling acquisition, guiding, and wavefront sensing camera systems; a novel 2-mirror reflective collimator allowing the science FoV to be centered on the telescope optical axis; a dichroic beamsplitter dividing the collimated beam into 2 wavelength-optimized spectrometer channels (blue: 0.31-0.56 µm; red: 0.54-1.04 µm); selectable transmissive dispersers (VPH and/or VBG) with remotely configurable grating tilt (angle of incidence) and camera articulation that enable optimization of diffraction efficiency and wavelength coverage inmore »each channel; all-refractive, wavelength-optimized f/2 spectrograph cameras, and UV/blue and red-optimized detector systems. The predicted instrumental through put of WFOS for spectroscopy averages > 56% over the full 0.31-1 µm range, from the ADC to the detector. When combined with the 30 m TMT aperture, WFOS will realize a factor of ∼20 gain in sensitivity compared to the current state of the art on 8-10 m-class telescopes.« less

    The ‘Spectroscopy and H-band Imaging of Virgo cluster galaxies’ (SHIVir) survey is an optical and near-infrared survey which combines SDSS photometry, deep H-band photometry, and long-slit optical spectroscopy for 190 Virgo cluster galaxies covering all morphological types over the stellar mass range log (M*/M⊙) = 7.8–11.5. We present the spectroscopic sample selection, data reduction, and analysis for this SHIVir sample. We have used and optimized the pPXF routine to extract stellar kinematics from our data. Ultimately, resolved kinematic profiles (rotation curves and velocity dispersion profiles) are available for 133 SHIVir galaxies. A comprehensive data base of photometric and kinematic parameters for the SHIVir sample is presented with grizH magnitudes, effective surface brightnesses, effective and isophotal radii, rotational velocities, velocity dispersions, and stellar and dynamical masses. Parameter distributions highlight some bimodal distributions and possible sample biases. A qualitative study of resolved extended velocity dispersion profiles suggests a link between the so-called ‘sigma-drop’ kinematic profile and the presence of rings in lenticular S0 galaxies. Rising dispersion profiles are linked to early-type spirals or dwarf ellipticals for which a rotational component is significant, whereas peaked profiles are tied to featureless giant ellipticals.

  5. Abstract We use deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging to derive a distance to the Virgo Cluster ultradiffuse galaxy (UDG) VCC 615 using the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) distance estimator. We detect 5023 stars within the galaxy, down to a 50% completeness limit of F814W ≈ 28.0, using counts in the surrounding field to correct for contamination due to background sources and Virgo intracluster stars. We derive an extinction-corrected F814W tip magnitude of m tip , 0 = 27.19 − 0.05 + 0.07 , yielding a distance of d = 17.7 − 0.4 + 0.6 Mpc. This places VCC 615 on the far side of the Virgo Cluster ( d Virgo = 16.5 Mpc), at a Virgocentric distance of 1.3 Mpc and near the virial radius of the main body of Virgo. Coupling this distance with the galaxy’s observed radial velocity, we find that VCC 615 is on an outbound trajectory, having survived a recent passage through the inner parts of the cluster. Indeed, our orbit modeling gives a 50% chance the galaxy passed inside the Virgo core ( r < 620 kpc) within the past gigayear, although very close passages directly through the cluster center ( rmore »< 200 kpc) are unlikely. Given VCC 615's undisturbed morphology, we argue that the galaxy has experienced no recent and sudden transformation into a UDG due to the cluster potential, but rather is a long-lived UDG whose relatively wide orbit and large dynamical mass protect it from stripping and destruction by the Virgo cluster tides. Finally, we also describe the serendipitous discovery of a nearby Virgo dwarf galaxy projected 90″ (7.2 kpc) away from VCC 615.« less
  6. Abstract We present a study of the stellar populations of globular clusters (GCs) in the Virgo Cluster core with a homogeneous spectroscopic catalog of 692 GCs within a major-axis distance R maj = 840 kpc from M87. We investigate radial and azimuthal variations in the mean age, total metallicity, [Fe/H], and α -element abundance of blue (metal-poor) and red (metal-rich) GCs using their co-added spectra. We find that the blue GCs have a steep radial gradient in [Z/H] within R maj = 165 kpc, with roughly equal contributions from [Fe/H] and [ α /Fe], and flat gradients beyond. By contrast, the red GCs show a much shallower gradient in [Z/H], which is entirely driven by [Fe/H]. We use GC-tagged Illustris simulations to demonstrate an accretion scenario where more massive satellites (with more metal- and α -rich GCs) sink further into the central galaxy than less massive ones, and where the gradient flattening occurs because of the low GC occupation fraction of low-mass dwarfs disrupted at larger distances. The dense environment around M87 may also cause the steep [ α /Fe] gradient of the blue GCs, mirroring what is seen in the dwarf galaxy population. The progenitors of red GCs havemore »a narrower mass range than those of blue GCs, which makes their gradients shallower. We also explore spatial inhomogeneity in GC abundances, finding that the red GCs to the northwest of M87 are slightly more metal-rich. Future observations of GC stellar population gradients will be useful diagnostics of halo merger histories.« less
  7. ABSTRACT Globular clusters (GCs) are often used to estimate the dark matter content of galaxies, especially dwarf galaxies, where other kinematic tracers are lacking. These estimates typically assume spherical symmetry and dynamical equilibrium, assumptions that may not hold for the sparse GC population of dwarfs in galaxy clusters. We use a catalogue of GCs tagged on to the Illustris simulation to study the accuracy of GC-based mass estimates. We focus on galaxies in the stellar mass range 108–1011.8 M⊙ identified in nine simulated Virgo-like clusters. Our results indicate that mass estimates are, on average, accurate in systems with GC numbers NGC ≥ 10 and where the uncertainty of individual GC line-of-sight velocities is smaller than the inferred velocity dispersion, σGC. In cases where NGC ≤ 10, however, biases may result, depending on how σGC is computed. We provide calibrations that may help alleviate these biases in methods widely used in the literature. As an application, we find a number of dwarfs with $M_{*} \sim 10^{8.5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ – comparable with the ultra-diffuse galaxy NGC 1052-DF2 (DF2), notable for the low σGC of its 10 GCs – that have $\sigma _{\rm GC} \sim 7\!-\!15\, {\rm km \,s}^{-1}$. These DF2 analogues correspond tomore »relatively massive systems at their infall time (M200 ∼ 1–3 × 1011 M⊙), which have retained only 3–17 GCs and have been stripped of more than 95 per cent of their dark matter. Our results suggest that extreme tidal mass loss in otherwise normal dwarf galaxies may be a possible formation channel for ultra-diffuse objects such as DF2.« less