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THE PAndAS FIELD OF STREAMS: STELLAR STRUCTURES IN THE MILKY WAY HALO TOWARD ANDROMEDA AND TRIANGULUM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Nicolas F. Martin
  • Rodrigo A. Ibata
  • R. Michael Rich
  • Michelle L. M. Collins
  • Mark A. Fardal
  • Michael J. Irwin
  • Geraint F. Lewis
  • Alan W. McConnachie
  • Arif Babul
  • Nicholas F. Bate
  • Scott C. Chapman
  • Anthony R. Conn
  • Denija Crnojevic
  • Annette M. N. Ferguson
  • A. Dougal Mackey
  • Julio F. Navarro
  • Jorge Penarrubia
  • Nial T. Tanvir
  • David Valls-Gabaud

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume787
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014

Abstract

We reveal the highly structured nature of the Milky Way (MW) stellar halo within the footprint of the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) photometric survey from blue main sequence (MS) and MS turn-off stars. We map no fewer than five stellar structures within a heliocentric range of similar to 5-30 kpc. Some of these are known (the Monoceros Ring, the Pisces/Triangulum globular cluster stream), but we also uncover three well-defined stellar structures that could be, at least partly, responsible for the so-called Triangulum/Andromeda and Triangulum/Andromeda 2 features. In particular, we trace a new faint stellar stream located at a heliocentric distance of similar to 17 kpc. With a surface brightness of Sigma(V) similar to 32-32.5 mag arcsec(-2), it follows an orbit that is almost parallel to the Galactic plane north of M31 and has so far eluded surveys of the MW halo as these tend to steer away from regions dominated by the Galactic disk. Investigating our follow-up spectroscopic observations of PAndAS, we serendipitously uncover a radial velocity signature from stars that have colors and magnitudes compatible with the stream. From the velocity of eight likely member stars, we show that this stellar structure is dynamically cold, with an unresolved velocity dispersion that is lower than 7.1 km s(-1) at the 90% confidence level. Along with the width of the stream (300-650 pc), its dynamics point to a dwarf-galaxy-accretion origin. The numerous stellar structures we can map in the MW stellar halo between 5 and 30 kpc and their varying morphology is a testament to the complex nature of the stellar halo at these intermediate distances.

    Research areas

  • Galaxy: halo, Galaxy: structure, Local Group, GALAXY FORMATION, DWARF GALAXIES, ACCRETION ORIGIN, GALACTIC HALO, LOCAL GROUP, SUBSTRUCTURE, DISK, M31, SAGITTARIUS, SATELLITES

ID: 15548460