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Kinematics of Outer Halo Globular Clusters in M31

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Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume768
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2013

Abstract

We present the first kinematic analysis of the far outer halo globular cluster (GC) population in the Local Group galaxy M31. Our sample contains 53 objects with projected radii of ~20-130 kpc, 44 of which have no previous spectroscopic information. GCs with projected radii >~ 30 kpc are found to exhibit net rotation around the minor axis of M31, in the same sense as the inner GCs, albeit with a smaller amplitude of 79 ± 19 km s-1. The rotation-corrected velocity dispersion of the full halo GC sample is 106 ± 12 km s-1, which we observe to decrease with increasing projected radius. We find compelling evidence for kinematic coherence among GCs that project on top of halo substructure, including a clear signature of infall for GCs lying along the northwest stream. Using the tracer mass estimator, we estimate the dynamical mass of M31 within 200 kpc to be M M31 = (1.2-1.5) ± 0.2 × 1012 M ⊙. This value is highly dependent on the chosen model and assumptions within.

    Research areas

  • galaxies: halos, galaxies: individual: M31, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, globular clusters: general, Local Group

ID: 18635834