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09 August 2020
 
  » arxiv » astro-ph/0406145

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Dynamics and Stellar Content of the Giant Southern Stream in M31. I. Keck Spectroscopy of Red Giant Stars
Puragra Guhathakurta ; R. Michael Rich ; David B. Reitzel ; Michael C. Cooper ; Karoline M. Gilbert ; Steven R. Majewski ; James C. Ostheimer ; Marla C. Geha ; Kathryn V. Johnston ; Richard J. Patterson ;
Date 7 Jun 2004
Subject astro-ph
AffiliationUCO/Lick Obs, UCSC), R. Michael Rich (UCLA), David B. Reitzel (UCLA), Michael C. Cooper (UC Berkeley), Karoline M. Gilbert (UCSC), Steven R. Majewski (U Virginia), James C. Ostheimer (U Virginia), Marla C. Geha (Carnegie Obs), Kathryn V. Johnston (Wesl
AbstractWe present results from a large spectroscopic survey of M31 red giants using the Keck telescope/DEIMOS. Photometric pre-screening, based on the 100A-wide DDO51 band centered on the Mgb/MgH feature, was used to select spectroscopic targets. Red giant candidates were targeted in a small field on M31’s giant southern tidal stream at a projected distance of 31kpc from the galaxy center. We isolate a clean sample of 68 giants by removing contaminants (foreground Galactic dwarfs and background galaxies) using spectroscopic, imaging, and photometric methods. About 65% of the M31 stars are found to be members of the stream, while the rest appear to be members of the general halo population. The mean (heliocentric) radial velocity of the stream in our field is -458 km/s, or -158 km/s relative to M31’s systemic velocity, in good agreement with recent measurements at other stream locations. The intrinsic velocity dispersion of the stream is constrained to be 15_{-15}^{+8} km/s (90% confidence limits). The companion paper by Font et al. (2004, astro-ph/0406146) discusses possible orbits, implications of the coldness of the stream, and progenitor satellite properties. The kinematics (and perhaps [Fe/H] distribution) of our halo sample indicate that it is different from other M31 halo samples; this may be an indication of substructure in the halo. The stream seems to have a higher mean [Fe/H] than the halo, -0.51 vs -0.74 dex, and a smaller [Fe/H] spread. The stream’s high metallicity implies that its progenitor must have been a luminous dwarf galaxy. The CaII triplet strengths of the M31 giants are generally consistent with photometric estimates of their metallicity (derived by fitting RGB fiducials in the color-magnitude diagram). There is indirect evidence of intermediate-age stars in the stream.
Source arXiv, astro-ph/0406145
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