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  1. Abstract

    We use a geometric method to derive (two-dimensional) separation functions among pairs of objects within populations of specified position functiondN/dR. We present analytic solutions for separation functions corresponding to a uniform surface density within a circular field, a Plummer sphere (viewed in projection), and the mixture thereof—including contributions from binary objects within both subpopulations. These results enable inferences about binary object populations via direct modeling of object position and pair separation data, without resorting to standard estimators of the two-point correlation function. Analyzing mock data sets designed to mimic known dwarf spheroidal galaxies, we demonstrate the ability to recover input properties including the number of wide binary star systems and, in cases where the number of resolved binary pairs is assumed to be ≳a few hundred, characteristic features (e.g., steepening and/or truncation) of their separation function. Combined with forthcoming observational capabilities, this methodology opens a window onto the formation and/or survival of wide binary populations in dwarf galaxies, and offers a novel probe of inferred dark matter substructure on the smallest galactic scales.

  2. ABSTRACT

    We present an RR Lyrae (RRL) catalogue based on the combination of the third data release of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF DR3) and Gaia EDR3. We use a multistep classification pipeline relying on the Fourier decomposition fitting to the multiband ZTF light curves and random forest classification. The resulting catalogue contains 71 755 RRLs with period and light-curve parameter measurements and has a completeness of 0.92 and a purity of 0.92 with respect to the Specific Objects Study Gaia DR2 RRLs. The catalogue covers the Northern sky with declination ≥−28°, its completeness is ≳0.8 for heliocentric distance ≤80 kpc, and the most distant RRL is at 132 kpc. Compared with several other RRL catalogues covering the Northern sky, our catalogue has more RRLs around the Galactic halo and is more complete at low-Galactic latitude areas. Analysing the spatial distribution of RRL in the catalogue reveals the previously known major overdensities of the Galactic halo, such as the Virgo overdensity and the Hercules–Aquila Cloud, with some evidence of an association between the two. We also analyse the Oosterhoff fraction differences throughout the halo, comparing it with the density distribution, finding increasing Oosterhoff I fraction at the elliptical radii between 16 and 32 kpcmore »and some evidence of different Oosterhoff fractions across various halo substructures.

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  3. ABSTRACT We present new MMT/Hectochelle spectroscopic measurements for 257 stars observed along the line of sight to the ultrafaint dwarf galaxy Triangulum II (Tri II). Combining results from previous Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy, we obtain a sample that includes 16 likely members of Tri II, with up to 10 independent redshift measurements per star. To this multi-epoch kinematic data set, we apply methodology that we develop in order to infer binary orbital parameters from sparsely sampled radial velocity curves with as few as two epochs. For a previously identified (spatially unresolved) binary system in Tri II, we infer an orbital solution with period $296.0_{-3.3}^{+3.8} \rm ~ d$, semimajor axis $1.12^{+0.41}_{-0.24}\rm ~au$, and systemic velocity $-380.0 \pm 1.7 \rm ~km ~s^{-1}$ that we then use in the analysis of Tri II’s internal kinematics. Despite this improvement in the modelling of binary star systems, the current data remain insufficient to resolve the velocity dispersion of Tri II. We instead find a 95 per cent confidence upper limit of $\sigma _{v} \lesssim 3.4 \rm ~km~s^{-1}$.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2023
  4. Abstract The Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy has an anomalous number of globular clusters, five, for its stellar mass. There is a longstanding debate about a potential sixth globular cluster (Fornax 6) that has recently been “rediscovered” in DECam imaging. We present new Magellan/M2FS spectroscopy of the Fornax 6 cluster and Fornax dSph. Combined with literature data we identify ∼15–17 members of the Fornax 6 cluster, showing that this overdensity is indeed a star cluster and associated with the Fornax dSph. The cluster is significantly more metal-rich (mean metallicity of [ Fe / H ] ¯ = −0.71 ± 0.05) than the other five Fornax globular clusters (−2.5 < [Fe/H] < −1.4) and more metal-rich than the bulk of Fornax. We measure a velocity dispersion of 5.6 − 1.6 + 2.0 km s − 1 corresponding to an anomalously high mass-to-light of 15 < M / L < 258 at 90% confidence when calculated assuming equilibrium. Two stars inflate this dispersion and may be either Fornax field stars or as yet unresolved binary stars. Alternatively, the Fornax 6 cluster may be undergoing tidal disruption. Based on its metal-rich nature, the Fornax 6 cluster is likely younger than the other Fornax clusters,more »with an estimated age of ∼2 Gyr when compared to stellar isochrones. The chemodynamics and star formation history of Fornax shows imprints of major events such as infall into the Milky Way, multiple pericenter passages, star formation bursts, and/or potential mergers or interactions. Any of these events may have triggered the formation of the Fornax 6 cluster.« less
  5. 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
  6. Abstract The S2 stream is a kinematically cold stream that is plunging downwards through the Galactic disc. It may be part of a hotter and more diffuse structure called the Helmi stream. We present a multi-instrument chemical analysis of the stars in the metal-poor S2 stream using both high- and low-resolution spectroscopy, complemented with a re-analysis of the archival data to give a total sample of 62 S2 members. Our high-resolution program provides α-elements (C, Mg, Si, Ca and Ti), iron-peak elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni), n-capture process elements (Sr, Ba) and other elements such as Li, Na, Al, and Sc for a subsample of S2 objects. We report coherent abundance patterns over a large metallicity spread (∼1 dex) confirming that the S2 stream was produced by a disrupted dwarf galaxy. The combination of S2’s α-elements displays a mildly decreasing trend with increasing metallicity which can be tentatively interpreted as a “knee” at [Fe/H]<−2. At the low metallicity end, the n-capture elements in S2 may be dominated by r-process production however several stars are Ba-enhanced, but unusually poor in Sr. Moreover, some of the low-[Fe/H] stars appear to be carbon-enhanced. We interpret the observed abundance patterns with the help ofmore »chemical evolution models that demonstrate the need for modest star-formation efficiency and low wind efficiency confirming that the progenitor of S2 was a primitive dwarf galaxy.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We report the result of searching for globular clusters (GCs) around 55 Milky Way (MW) satellite dwarf galaxies within the distance of 450 kpc from the Galactic Centre except for the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and the Sagittarius dwarf. For each dwarf, we analyse the stellar distribution of sources in Gaia DR2, selected by magnitude, proper motion, and source morphology. Using the kernel density estimation of stellar number counts, we identify 11 possible GC candidates. Cross-matched with existing imaging data, all 11 objects are known either GCs or galaxies and only Fornax GC 1–6 among them are associated with the targeted dwarf galaxy. Using simulated GCs, we calculate the GC detection limit $M_{\rm V}^{\rm lim}$ that spans the range from $M_{\rm V}^{\rm lim}\sim -7$ for distant dwarfs to $M_{\rm V}^{\rm lim}\sim 0$ for nearby systems. Assuming a Gaussian GC luminosity function, we compute that the completeness of the GC search is above 90 per cent for most dwarf galaxies. We construct the 90 per cent credible intervals/upper limits on the GC specific frequency SN of the MW dwarf galaxies: 12 < SN < 47 for Fornax, SN < 20 for the dwarfs with −12 < MV < −10, SNmore »< 30 for the dwarfs with −10 < MV < −7, and SN < 90 for the dwarfs with MV > −7. Based on SN, we derive the probability of galaxies hosting GCs given their luminosity, finding that the probability of galaxies fainter than MV = −9 to host GCs is lower than 0.1.« less
  8. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We use observations from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey to explore the relationship between stellar parameters and multiplicity. We combine high-resolution repeat spectroscopy for 41 363 dwarf and subgiant stars with abundance measurements from the APOGEE pipeline and distances and stellar parameters derived using Gaia DR2 parallaxes from Sanders & Das to identify and characterize stellar multiples with periods below 30 yr, corresponding to ΔRVmax ≳ 3 km s−1, where ΔRVmax is the maximum APOGEE-detected shift in the radial velocities. Chemical composition is responsible for most of the variation in the close binary fraction in our sample, with stellar parameters like mass and age playing a secondary role. In addition to the previously identified strong anticorrelation between the close binary fraction and [Fe/H], we find that high abundances of α elements also suppress multiplicity at most values of [Fe/H] sampled by APOGEE. The anticorrelation between α abundances and multiplicity is substantially steeper than that observed for Fe, suggesting C, O, and Si in the form of dust and ices dominate the opacity of primordial protostellar discs and their propensity for fragmentation via gravitational stability. Near [Fe/H] = 0 dex, the bias-corrected close binary fraction (a < 10 au) decreases frommore »≈100 per cent at [α/H] = −0.2 dex to ≈15 per cent near [α/H] = 0.08 dex, with a suggestive turn-up to ≈20 per cent near [α/H] = 0.2. We conclude that the relationship between stellar multiplicity and chemical composition for sun-like dwarf stars in the field of the Milky Way is complex, and that this complexity should be accounted for in future studies of interacting binaries.« less